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Full text of "Bulletin [serial]"

TREASURE RQ6M 
DUKE 
UNIVERSITY 




LIBRARY 



77X 
2 7,7 yu 



I 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2012 with funding from 
Duke University Libraries 



http://archive.org/details/bulletinserial172933maha 



Duke University Library 
<BULLETI*l 

No. 1 OCTOBER 1929 



Institutional Growth 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1929 



Institutional Growth 

The aim of this report 1 is to describe the progress made 
since 1925 in establishing at Duke University a collection of 
books of university proportions. This involves four factors : 
(a) the background, (b) policies adopted, (c) plans for the 
future, and (d) immediate needs. Each of these we shall con- 
sider and add in an appendix certain pertinent statistics and 
miscellaneous information. 

THE BACKGROUND. The antecedent of the University Li- 
brary is the Trinity College Library. Its character and his- 
tory have an important bearing on our present situation. Or- 
ganized in a modern way in 1899 with 10,000 volumes, its book 
revenue for years was small, and this made necessary careful 
selection in purchasing. However, supplementing books pur- 
chased with college funds were a number of special collections 
of unusual value; namely, the Clingman Collection of United 
States Public Documents, the Anne Roney Shakespeare Col- 
lection, the Ethel Carr Peacock Library, the John M. Webb 
Collection, the Edwards-Hawkins Collection, and the Collec- 
tions of the Trinity College Historical Society, the last three 
rich in Southern Americana. There were also four collections, 
of minor proportions, with provision for increase : the Irwin 
Avery Collection in Journalism, the W. F. Gill Collection in 
Latin, the James J. Wolfe Collection in Botany, and the Flow- 
ers Collection, the latter established in 1920 by the descendants 
of Colonel George W. Flowers, long a trustee of the college. 2 
The largest contribution from a private source was a gift of 
$10,000 for the purchase of books made in 1901 by Mr. James 
B. Duke. These and other benefactions^ together with careful 

* The following pages are in substance a report to the President of Duke 
University. 

a F6r full memoranda regarding the special collection, see the Appendix 
of this report. 

(i) 



3 2. (e 5- H-V 



selection and purchases, made the Trinity College Library very 
compact and also strong in certain branches of learning, especi- 
ally English literature and American history. 

The year 1923 opened a period of marked expansion. By 
action of the Board of Trustees the Library was allotted five 
dollars per semester for each undergraduate student enrolled, to 
be used exclusively for the purchase and binding of books, peri- 
odicals, and manuscripts. Appropriations from other sources of 
college revenue also continued and increased. As a result the 
book expenditure which in 1922 was $2,182.25, rose to $16,000 
in 1923-24 and in 1924-25, the last year of the library as the 
Trinity College Library, the total expenditure for books was 
in round numbers $21,000; the number of volumes (books and 
pamphlets) accessioned on January 1, 1925 was 87,857. In 
the meantime certain professors in the college had dispensed 
with text books and required of the students the payment of a 
class fee with which duplicate texts and other books were pur- 
chased and placed in the Library as gifts of the class. The 
annual income from this source can not be definitely stated; 
the past year it reached $3,000. 

POLICIES ADOPTED. Thus when Duke University was es- 
tablished the principle of an income for books which increased 
with the increase of registrations had been fixed, and also the 
principle that this income should not limit appropriations from 
the general funds of the institution; and there was, too, a 
tradition of benefaction manifest in the numerous gifts of indi- 
viduals. These policies have continued. Among the early 
actions of the University authorities was one to increase the 
annual appropriation for books from the general funds, so that 
annual book expenditure in 1925-26 reached $25,000, rose to 
$35,000 the following year, then to $55,000 and the past aca- 
demic year it also increased. These expenditures were for the 
main University Library ; in addition capital appropriations have 
been made for the Medical School and for Law, so that the 
total expenditures from all sources the past academic year 

(*) 



reached $75,916.48. The number of volumes accessioned on 
June 30, 1929 was 151,520, as compared with 87,857 in 
January 1925. 

The question naturally arises, upon what principal has the 
increased book revenue been spent? The answer is in one 
word, concentration. While the income from student registra- 
tions has been automatically divided, after deduction for period- 
icals and binding, among the various departments of the 
University, a very large portion of the general appropriations 
has been used to build up the resources of a few departments, 
especially those offering a program of studies leading to the 
doctorate. The amplication of this policy has been as follows. 

Because of exceptional opportunities to make purchases, as 
well as its program of work, large expenditures have been 
made in the domain of history. Thus the library of the late 
Professor Holl of the University of Berlin, consisting of 8,000 
titles in European church history through the Reformation, was 
purchased in 1926 through the agency of the School of Religion. 
This library, together with certain great collections previously 
purchased, as Migne's Patrologia, the Chronicles and Memori- 
als of Great Britain, and the Monumenta Germaniae Historica 
give a substantial foundation for studies in the middle age and 
early modern history. Through wise selections by Professor 
Laprade, who spent the academic year 1926-27 in England, 
large purchases were made in the sources and literature of 
modern English history, so that the University now has such 
fundamental collections as Hansard's Debates, the Annual Reg- 
ister, the Statutes of the Realm, the British and Foreign State 
Papers, the Calendars of State Papers, the Journals of the 
Privy Council and the Board of Trade, the Transaction of the 
Royal Historical Society and other learned institutions, and 
typical periodicals and many pamphlets of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Likewise through selection by Associate Professor Car- 
roll, who was in Paris in 1927-28, many of the sources for 
French and German history and politics since 1850 were pro- 

(3) 

j a (o s ^ ? 



cured. More recently the library of the late Perez de Velasco 
of Lima, Peru, consisting of 3,000 titles relating to all phases 
of Latin-American life, has been purchased. This addition, 
with the numerous works of a similar nature already in our 
possession, goes far to make the University a center for Latin- 
American studies. Likewise, the acquisition very recently of a 
collection of 1,800 volumes, the library of Paul Hamilton 
Hayne, Carolina poet and man of letters, has strengthened 
our resources in American literature and especially our South- 
ern Americana, in which the Trinity College Library was par- 
ticularly strong. 

In the realm of literature the outstanding acnuisition has 
been the library of Professor Gustav Lanson (noted critic 
and scholar), consisting of 11,000 titles, purchased through 
the agency of Professor A. M. Webb while in Paris during the 
summer of 1927. Rich in standard works of modern French 
authors and the literature of technical criticism, this purchase 
has at one stroke given our library a strong position among the 
collections of French literature in this country. The best ex- 
ample, however, of the way in which purchases en bloc may raise 
a library from collegiate to university standing is seen in the 
acquisitions in the domain of science. In 1925 our technical 
works in Biology and Chemistry were meager, entirely unsatis- 
factory for the reference work necessary in scientific research. 
But the purchase in one order of 2,000 volumes of technical 
periodicals and monographs in Chemistry and in another of 
1,500 volumes of a like nature in Biology immediately raised 
the status of our collections in those subjects far above col- 
legiate level. 

Less extensive have been other additions. English has been 
strengthened by purchase of the monographs collected by the late 
James W. Bright of Johns Hopkins, valuable for its philological 
monographs, and the acquisition of numerous files of literary 
periodicals. In Political Science an excellent collection relating 
to International Arbitrations has been assembled. Considerable 

(4) 



additions have been made in Greek and in Psychology. The 
purchase of the library of the late Professor Baudissin, of 
Berlin, has given a foundation for studies in Hebrew and Old 
Testament literature. 

While the policy of concentration has undoubtedly enriched 
a few departments of learning, the interest of individuals and 
of the University community in general has not been neglected. 
Special sums have been appropriated to individual professors 
for aid in their research upon recommendation of the Univer- 
sity Committee on Research. Moreover, large expenditures 
have been made for periodical literature in all branches of learn- 
ing. In 1925 the number of current periodicals (including 
newspapers) received was 554; today it is 844. As rapidly as 
possible gaps in our files are being filled in and also sets of 
extinct periodicals are being purchased, the number of bound 
periodicals at present being 18,217. Our collection of news- 
papers has been expanded; the number of volumes in 1925 was 
1,200, today it is over 5,000, representative of the presses in 
144 localities in 35 states of the United States and 34 localities 
in 26 foreign countries. Of particular interest is the recent 
acquisition of files of European newspapers running from 1914 
through the period of the World War and after. These in- 
clude eighteen papers from Germany and one from Hungary, 
and are supplemented by several thousand pamphlets and post- 
ers issued by the Central Powers during the War. We believe 
that nowhere south of Washington is there such a cosmopolitan 
newspaper morgue. A card catalogue of the newspapers is 
complete and the manuscript of a check list is ready for the 
press. # 04| (^ 

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE. The University Library at present 
occupies a building designed for the Library of a Coordinate 
Womans' College. On the South campus there is under con- 
struction a University Library Building. When completed it 
will have stack capacity for four hundred and ten thousand vol- 
umes. Adjoining are the buildings of the School of Law and 
the School of Religion ; each contains space for its own library, 
but the stacks will be connected by a corridor with the stacks of 

(5) 



the University Library. Thus Law will not be separated from 
History and Politics nor Religion be divorced from the Arts. 
A hundred yards away will be the Medical School with its own 
library. It is hoped that the absence of any distance between 
the professional school libraries and the University Library 
will reduce to a minimum that bane of all university libraries, 
duplication in the purchases of books. The new University 
Library Building will contain a Treasure Room for the exhi- 
bition of rare books and manuscripts and also special rooms for 
the care of manuscripts and maps. This will make possible the 
development of certain kinds of service which we have not 
emphasized in the past. Preparations for removal to the new 
buildings, however, must begin long before the actual process 
of transfer and we are now considering plans for the allocation 
and placement of books and the necessary increase of the library 
staff. 

IMMEDIATE NEEDS. Meanwhile our collections must in- 
crease to meet the demands of the present and to anticipate 
those of the future. To this end larger revenue for the pur- 
chase of books is imperative. The equipment of more depart- 
ments must be lifted from collegiate to university level, and 
that level once attained will be lost without liberal support for 
further purchases. The libraries of the professional schools 
will require additional capital appropriations. Here lies a chal- 
lenge to our imagination, for "a University is a collection of 
books." Yet in the South Atlantic States there is no university 
library comparable to those of the larger institutions in the 
Northeast and Northwest. We believe that the opportunity is 
ours, and that the beginning has been made, to remedy this 
deficiency. But the task will require the cooperation of indi- 
viduals as well as the University authorities, for no great library 
in this country has been established by institutional funds 
alone. Gifts, endowments, and other aids are absolutely neces- 
sary. There is already evidence that the spirit of benefaction, 
which was such a factor in the growth of the Trinity College 

(6) 



Library, will also shape the growth of the Duke University 
Library. Of this several instances may be cited. Mr. James 
A. Thomas, who for many years contributed from time to time 
books on the Far East to the Trinity Library, has made, in 
recent months, many additions to his previous gifts. By the 
will of Dr. J. Howell Way, late trustee of Trinity and Duke 
University, the Library has received 2,000 volumes, mainly 
medical, and also his correspondence. A year ago the 9019, 
oldest scholarship society in Duke, established the John Spencer 
Bassett Collection in honor of the founder of the order, with a 
small endowment fund. The collection now numbers 373 vol- 
umes, 700 pamphlets, and numerous manuscripts. The sum of 
$4,000, donated to the University by the friends of the late 
Joseph G. Brown, of Raleigh, has been allocated as a Library 
Fund. Finally, a group of friends of the Library have recently 
perfected an organization for promoting its interests. Such 
efforts as these, on a larger scale, will do much to enable the 
Library to render a service adequate to university needs and 
give the University a definite leadership as a center of learning. 

William K. Boyd, 

Chairman Library Council. 

Joseph P. Breedlove, 

Librarian. 
October 1, 1929. 



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Duke University Library 
BULLETIli 

No. 2 JULY 1930 



Chec\ List of the Paul Hamilton Hayne 
Library 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1930 



Duke University Library 
&ULLETIH 

No. 2 JULY 1930 



Chec\ List of the Paul Hamilton Hayne 
Library 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1930 



Introduction 

The Paul Hamilton Hayne Library acquired by the Duke 
Library in the autumn of 1929, contains something over 1800 
books, pamphlets, and periodicals. A careful examination reveals 
the fact that 142 titles were indisputably a part of Hayne' s library 
prior to 1865, and probably many others. This is proved by 
Hayne's habit of inscribing in new books, below his signature, the 
date and place of purchase. Mrs. Margaret J. Preston, in her 
introduction to Hayne's Poems (Boston, 1882), states that during 
the bombardment of Charleston Hayne's "large and handsome li- 
brary was utterly lost," a statement which my investigation of the 
library corrects. It is, however, quite possible that Hayne did not 
have the entire collection in his home at the time of the attack. Of 
the 142 volumes, 6 contain the place of purchase, with no date. 
Furthermore, many other volumes suggest by their date of publica- 
tion and general appearance that they were a part of Hayne's pre- 
war library. This is quite possible, as many of his books contain 
no indication of date or place of purchase. 

Among those books which he certainly owned prior to 1865 are : 
Chesterfield's Letters, Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Mil- 
ton's Poetical Works (six volumes), Malory's Morte d' Arthur, 
William Godwin's Life of Chaucer, Chapman's Odyssey, Gibbon's 
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Crabbe's Poetical Works, 
Life, and Letters, John Aubrey's Miscellanies, Piers Ploughman, 
Thomas Warton's English Poetry, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 
Matthew Arnold's Poems, and Carlyle's Critical and Miscellaneous 
Essays. 

The collection includes many valuable books and sets. The 
following may be mentioned : 

(3) 



DeQuincey's Writings, Ticknor, Reed and Fields; Boston, 
1851 ; 7 vols. 

The Shakespeare Society Publications (about twenty-five vol- 
umes). 

Byron's Works, Leipzig, 1842; 5 vols. 

Hazlitt's Works (edited by his son), London, 1839-41 ; 5 vols. 

Lady Montague's Works, London, 1803 ; 5 vols. 

Sir Thomas Browne's Works (edited by Simon Wilkin), New 

York, 1835; 4 vols. 
Pepys' Diary (edited by Smith and Braybrooke), Philadelphia, 

1855 ; 4 vols. 
William Godwin's Life of Chaucer, London, 1803 ; 2 vols. 

Duyckinck's Cyclopaedia of American Literature, New York, 
1856; 2 vols. 

A New Library of Poetry and Song (edited by William Cullen 
Bryant), New York,~1876; 2 vols. 

Thomas Warton's English Poetry, London, 1840; 3 vols. 

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (edited by Thomas Tyrwhitt), 

Oxford, 1798; 2 vols. 
Johnson's Lives of the Poets, London, 1816; 3 vols. 
Sidney Lanier's Tiger-Lilies, New York, 1867. 
Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner (illustrated by Dore), 

New York, 1876. 

William Smyth's Lectures on Modern History, Cambridge, 
1843; 2 vols, (given as a prize for excellence in English 
composition by the College of Charleston). 

In this connection I mention also the Poetical Works of Howitt, 
Milman, and Keats, (Philadelphia, 1846), not for its intrinsic 
value, but for a note which Hayne has written on a fly-leaf : "one 
of a series of 12 vols, given me by the 'F [Farm] & Fireside,' 
Raleigh (N. C), for the best Poem." 

(4) 



As an indication of Hayne's taste and interests, I have made a 
study of the types of books found in his library as it now 
stands. The results are as follows. There are 288 volumes of 
poetry, including 36 presentation copies ; 121 volumes of history, 
including 5 presentation copies ; 239 volumes of prose fiction, in- 
cluding 17 presentation copies; 62 volumes of a religious nature, 
including 6 presentation items ; 77 volumes of biography (exclusive 
of literary figures), including 3 presentation copies; 54 books of 
travel and geographical description, including 2 presentation 
copies; 101 volumes of, or dealing with, foreign literature, includ- 
ing one presentation copy; 40 volumes of science, including 4 
presentation copies; and 154 volumes of general literary criticism 
and biography. These statistics do not cover a very large assort- 
ment of miscellaneous books. 

First editions include works by Bronson Alcott, Thomas Bailey 
Aldrich, George Henry Boker, John Burroughs, Emerson, E. E. 
Hale, Harte, Holmes, Lanier, Longfellow, Lowell, John Lothrop 
Motley, William Hickling Prescott, Simms, E. C. Stedman, Swin- 
burne, Bayard Taylor, Whittier, and Tennyson. 

Of the serials in the library, I note The Week (vol. 2, 
May 11-Nov. 30, 1872) and The Palmetto Flag, of which there is 
a complete file. The Flag was a secession newspaper of 1851. In 
it Hayne has marked a number of his own articles and those of 
E. B. Bryan, a prominent Charleston secessionist. In the issue for 
October 11, is printed an interesting speech by Hayne. It is amus- 
ing to observe that the two last issues of The Flag came out in 
black borders, indicative of the secessionists' regret at their failure 
to carry the 1851 election. 

There are 68 presentation volumes in the collection which con- 
tain the authors' autographs. I list herewith a few of the more 
important : 

G. H. Boker's Konigsmark ; Charles Gayarre's Philip II of 
Spain; T. H. Hill's Poems; Holmes's The Guardian Angel and The 
Poet at the Breakfast Table; Jean Ingelow's Off the Skelligs; C. C. 

(5) 



Jones's The Dead Towns of Georgia, Historical Sketch of Tomo- 
Chi-Chi, and The Siege of Savanna; Sidney Lanier's The Science 
of English Verse; Longfellow's Ultima Thule; Lowell's Among 
My Books; Margaret J. Preston's For Love's Sake; Christian 
Reid's Mabel Lee; Margaret E. Sangster's Poems of the House- 
hold; E. C. Stedman's Hawthorne and Other Poems and The Na- 
ture and Elements of Poetry; C. W. Stoddard's Poems; Swin- 
burne's A Century of Roundels and Songs of the Springtides; 
Bayard Taylor's The Masque of the Gods; and Whittier's The 
Vision of E chard and Snow-Bound. 

Fifteen letters from authors about their books were discovered 
between the leaves. The most important are probably two from 
Margaret J. Preston and one from Walter Malone. 

Many of the books have their fly-leaves covered with verse 
and prose in Hayne's handwriting. A group of Publications of the 
Shakespeare Society apparently contain parts of two novels, in 
addition to other prose. Hayne, it is recorded, often wrote stand- 
ing, and he probably used the fly-leaves of his books because of the 
lack of other paper, especially during the Civil War. Special at- 
tention should be called to a manuscript copy of an account of 
Simms's old age, death, and funeral, which is of interest to students 
of Simms. 

The Hayne library is surprisingly large and important for a 
man in Hayne's financial condition to have carried on in the Recon- 
struction Period. It gives one an interesting and informative in- 
sight into the taste and attitudes of a literary gentleman of the Old 
South in the days when the Old South was gradually transforming 
itself into the New South which we know today. 

Richard C. Pettigrew. 
Department of English. 



(6) 



Check List of the Paul Hamilton Hayne 
Library 

EXPLANATION OF SYMBOLS USED 
* — Paul Hamilton Hayne's signature on book. 
f — Author presentation copy. 
j — Miscellaneous presentation copy. 
° — Notes or verses written on book by Paul Hamilton Hayne. 

A., T. G. A Sheaf of Papers. Bost, Roberts, 1875. 362 p. 
°Abbey, Henry. Ballads of Good Deeds and Other Verses. N. Y., 
Appleton, 1872. 129 p. 

f The Poems of Henry Abbey; new, enlarged edition. 

Kingston, N. Y., Henry Abbey. 1886. 256 p. 

The Poems of Henry Abbey; third edition enlarged. 



Kingston, N. Y., author's edition, 1895. 290 p. 

Abbott, Edward. A Paragraph History of the American Revo- 
lution. Bost., Roberts, 1876. Ill p. 

A Paragraph History of the United States from the Dis- 
covery of the Continent to the Present Time. Bost., Roberts, 
1875. 93 p. 

°Abbott, Edwin Abbott. English Lessons for English People, by 
the Rev. Edwin A. Abbott and J. R. Seeley. Bost., Roberts, 
1872. 303 p. 

° Philochristus. Bost., Roberts, 1878. 412 p. 

* Abbott, John Stevens Cabot. The French Revolution of 1789 as 
Viewed in the Light of Republican Institutions. N. Y., Harper, 
1859. 439 p., illus. 

History of Frederick the Second Called Frederick the 

Great. N. Y., Harper, 1871. 584 p., illus. 
History of Joseph Bonaparte. N. Y., Harper, 1869. 



391 p. 

History of Louis Philippe. N. Y., Harper, 1871. 405 p., 

illus. 

(7) 



JAbbott, Lyman. Jesus of Nazareth: His Life and Teachings 
Founded on the Four Gospels. N. Y., Harper, 1869. 522 p., 
illus. 
Abney, Henry M. Ballads and Sonnet Variations. Claremont, 
N. H., Claremont Manufacturing Co., 1877. 73 p. 

Adams, Charles Kendall. A Manual of Historical Literature. 
N. Y., Harper, 1882. 665 p. 

Adams, T. A. S. Aunt Peggy and Other Poems. Cincinnati, 
printed for the author, 1882. 208 p. 

Addison, Joseph. The Works of Joseph Addison, including the 
whole contents of B. P. Hurd's edition with letters and other 
pieces not found in any previous collection, and Macaulay's 
essay on his life and works, edited ... by George Washing- 
ton Greene. N. Y., Putnam, 1854. 5 v., illus. (v. 4 lacking.) 
*[Adkins, W. B.] The Jericho Road. Chicago, Jansen, McClurg, 
1877. 222 p. 

Aeschylus. The Tragedies of Aeschylus: literally translated with 
critical and illustrative notes, and an introduction by Theodore 
Alois Buckley. Lond., Bohn, 1849. 234 p., illus. 
$Aesop. Aesop's Fables: a new version chiefly from original 
sources by Rev. Thomas James. . . . N. Y., Collins, [1848]. 
224 p., illus. 

Ainger, Alfred. Charles Lamb. N. Y., Harper, 1882. 182 p. 
(English men of letters.) 

Akenside, Mark, 1721-1770. The Poetical Works of Mark Aken- 
side; . . . collated with the best editions by Thomas Park. 
Lond., Stanhope Press, 1805. 2 v., illus. 

Alcestis. N. Y., Holt, 1874. 288 p. (Leisure hour series.) 
°Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888. Table-talk. Bost., Roberts, 
1877. 178 p. 

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Pictures of Travel in Sweden among the Harts Mountains, 

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Belcher, Lady. The Mutineers of the Bounty and Their Descend- 
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Bishop, Nathaniel H. Four Months in a Sneak-bos: a boat voyage 
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' Green Pastures and Piccadilly. N. Y., Harper, 1878. 

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A Princess of Thule. N. Y., Harper, 1877. 464 p. 

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Yolande. N. Y., Harper, 1883. 462 p. 



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Blunt, Lady Anne Isabella Noel, 1837-. Bedouin Tribes of the 
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Bonitz, Hermann. The Origin of the Homeric Poems . . . 
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Bourne, Henry Richard Fox, 1837-1909. The life of John Locke. 
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°Bourrienne. Bourrienne's Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte: am- 
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°Boyle, Esmeralda. Thistle-down. Phil., Lippincott, 1871. 159 p. 

JBrainard, Charles H. John Howard Payne. Wash., Coolidge, 
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Villette, N. Y, Harper, 1872. 502 p. 



Brook, Sarah. French History for English Children; revised and 
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Brooke, Stopford S., 1832-1911. Christ in Modern Life; ser- 
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Brooks, Maria Go wen. Zophiel; or, The Bride of Seven; edited 
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Browning, Robert, 1812-1889. Fifine at the Fair, and Other 
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The Inn Album. Bost., Osgood, 1876. 167 p. 

Red Cotton Night-cap Country, or Turf and Towers. 

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The Ring and the Book. Bost., Fields, Osgood, 1869. 



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Poems by William Cullen Bryant. N. Y., Appleton r 

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Whitehall, W. W. Woodard, 1807. 2 v. 
*Buckley, Arabella B. The Fairy-land of Science. N. Y., Apple- 
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Bulwer-Lytton, Edward Robert, 1st Earl of Lytton, see Lytton, 
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Bunce, Oliver Bell. Bachelor Bluff. N. Y., Appleton, 1881. 
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Bunyan, John, 1623-1688. The Pilgrim's Progress from this 
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Burroughs, John, 1837-1921. Birds and Poets with Other Papers. 

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* [Butler, Charles], 1750-1832. Horae Biblicae; being a connected 
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Cairns, John. Unbelief in the Eighteenth Century as Contrasted 
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The Early Kings of Norway: also an essay on the por- 
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' The French Revolution . . . second American from the 



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Reminiscences of My Irish Journey in 1849. N. Y., Har- 
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Chambers, Julius. A Mad World and Its Inhabitants. N. Y., 
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Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871. Memoir of Robert Chambers 
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*Chaucer, Geoffrey, d.1400. The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer to 
which are added an essay on his language and versification 
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*Child, Francis James, 1825-1896, ed. English and Scottish Bal- 
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Observations on the language of Gower's Confessio 

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°*Choice Notes from "Notes and Queries." History. Lond., Bell 
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°Christlieb, Theodor. The Best Methods of Counteracting Mod- 
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Spenser. N. Y., Harper, 1879. 180 p. (English men of 

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Churchill, Charles, 1731-1764. Poems; in three volumes with 

large corrections and additions to which is prefixed the life 

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°Churchill, Major Seton. General Gordon . . . second edition. 

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° Scenes of Clerical Life; Harper's literary edition. N. Y., 



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*Ellis, George, 1753-1815. Specimens of the Early English Poets; 
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Ellis, Grace A. A Memoir of Mrs. Anna Laetitia Barbauld with 

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Letters and Social Aims. Bost., Osgood, 1876. 314 p. 



* Society and Solitude. . . . Bost., Fields, Osgood, 1870. 

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° Purple and Fine Linen. N. Y., Carleton, 1873. 483 p. 

f Songs of Doubt and Dream (poems). N. Y., Funk & 

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Great Singers .'Faustina Bordoni to Henrietta Sontag. 

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Kismet. Bost., Roberts, 1877. 338 p. (No name series.) 

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Forbes, Henry O. A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern 
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Froissart, Sir John. Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and 
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Thomas Carlyle: A History of the First Forty Years of 



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Geddes, James, 1858-. History of the Administration of John 
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° German Principia. A First German Course, ... on the plan of 
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* Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon . . . with mem- 
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The Vatican Decrees in Their Bearing on Civil Alle- 
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text of the Papal syllabus and the Vatican decrees by the Rev. 
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*Godwin, William, 1756-1836. Life of Geoffrey Chaucer . . . 
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*Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832. Faust . . . translated 
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Goldoni, Carlo, 1707-1790. . . . Memoirs of Carlo Goldoni; 

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Goldsmith, Oliver, 1728-1774. The Works of Oliver Goldsmith; 

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°Gosson, Stephen, 1554-1624. The School of Abuse, containing a 

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Gould, Thomas R. The Tragedian; An Essay on the Historic 
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Gray, George Zabriskie. The Children's Crusade: An Episode of 
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History of the English People. N. Y., Harper, 1878. 

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Literary and Social Judgments. Bost., Osgood, 1873. 

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Grey, Charles, 1804-1870. Comp. The Early Years of His Royal 
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Grove, George. Geography. . . . N. Y., Appleton, 1877. 126 

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Grim, Anastasius. The Last Knight: A Romance-Garland ; from 
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Gustafson, Zadel Barnes. Meg. . . . Bost., Lee and Shepard, 
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t Helen's Babies. . . . Bost., Loring, [ c 1876]. 206 p. 

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f The Scripture Club of Valley Rest; or, Sketches of 

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The Ingham Papers; Some Memorials of the Life of 

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Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, 

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View of the State of Europe During the Middle Ages 

. . . incorporating in the text the author's latest researches, 
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Halliwell, James Orchard. Ludus Conventriae; a collection of 
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Halliwell-Phillips, James Orchard, 1820-1889. Tarltons lests, 
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Painter's Camp. . . . Bost., Roberts, 1867. 348 p. 

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The Sylvan Year: Leaves from the Note Book of Raoul 

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Thoughts About Art; a new edition revised by the 



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Wenderholme: A Story of Lancashire and Yorkshire. 



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° Tales of the Argonauts and Other Sketches. Bost, Os- 
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* Passages from the English Notebooks of Nathaniel 

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Economics and Politics; a series of papers upon public 

questions written on various occasions from 1840-1885 . . . 
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Essay on Language and Other Essays and Addresses; 

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Freedom of Mind in Willing; or, Every Being That Wills 

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t Man a Creative First Cause; two discourses delivered at 

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*Hazlitt, William, 1778-1830. Lectures on the Dramatic Litera- 
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* Lectures on the English Comic Writers; third edition 

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* Lectures on the English Poets; third edition edited by 

his son. Lond., Templeman, 1841. 407 p. 

* The Round Table: A Collection of Essays on Literature, 

Men, and Manners; third edition edited by his son. Lond., 
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* Sketches and Essays; now first collected by his son. 

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*Heeren, Arnold Hermann Ludwig, 1760-1842. Ancient Greece; 
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Three Historical Treatises . . . new and improved edition. 
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Historical Researches into Politics, Intercourse, and 

Trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians; trans- 
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Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and 

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A Manual of Ancient History Particularly with Regard 

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States of Antiquity; translated from the German. Lond. r 
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A Manual of the History of the Political System of 



Europe and Its Colonies; translated from the fifth German 
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Heine, Heinrich, 1797-1856. Scintillations from the Prose Works 
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Helps, Arthur, 1813-1875. Companions of My Solitude . . . 
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Essays Written in the Intervals of Business, to Which Is 

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Life and Labours of Mr. Brassey. 1805-1870; with a 



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Herodotus. Herodotus: a new and literal version from the text 

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The Sixth and Seventh Books of Herodotus with a Life 

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*Herrick, Robert, 1591-1674. Hesperides; or The Works Both 
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Selections from the Poetry of Robert Herrick with draw- 
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°Heywood, Thomas, d. 1650? The Dramatic Works of Thomas 
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° The Fair Maid of the Exchange . . . edited by Barron 

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° The Golden and Silver Ages . . . introduction and notes 



by J. Payne Collier. Lond., Shakespeare Society, 1851. v. p. 
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Hoffman, Wickham. Camp and Court and Siege; a narrative of 
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Shakespeare's Comedy of The Tempest; edited with 

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Shakespeare's Comedy of the Two Gentlemen of Verona; 



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Shakespeare's History of King Henry the Sixth; edited 

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Shakespeare's History of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, edited 



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Shakespeare's History of Troilus and Cressida; edited 



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Shakespeare's Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, edited 

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Shakespeare's Tragedy of Coriolanus, edited with notes 



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Shakespeare's Tragedy of Cymbeline; edited with notes 

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Shakespeare's Tragedy of King Lear; edited with notes 

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The Old Testament History from the Creation to the Re- 



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A Smaller Classical Dictionary of Biography, Mythology, 

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Xenophon. Xenophontis libri Socratici. (De socrate comment- 
arii, oeconomicus, convivum; anonyni Socratis apologia ad 
iudices.) Ex recensione Caroli Schenkl, curavit S. R. Win- 
ans. Novi Eboraci, Harperos fratres, 1883. 251 p. 

°%Year Book of the City of Charleston, S. C. (Collection has: 

1880-1885.) 
Yonge, Charles Duke, 1812-1891. The Constitutional History of 
England from 1760-1860. N. Y., Harper, 1882. 454 p. * 

Three Centuries of Modern History. N. Y., Appleton, 

1872. 572 p. 



(109) 



Duke University Library 
<BULLETIH 

No. 3 NOVEMBER 1930 



Annual Report 
1929-1930 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1930 



Duke University Library 
<BULLETIJi 

No. 3 NOVEMBER 1930 



Annual Report 
1929-1930 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1930 



Annual Report, 1939-1930 

The past academic year has been one of distinct progress 
in the development of the library resources of Duke Univer- 
sity. The total expenditure for books (July 1929- July 1930) 
reached $155,384.96; the number of volumes formally acces- 
sioned was 41,495, making the total number of volumes avail- 
able for the use of readers 192,915. Comparative statistics 
for the years since the incorporation of the University are here 
pertinent : 

1924-25 1925-26 1926-27 1927-28 1928-29 1929-30 



Expenditure 














for Books . . . 


. $21,104 


$25,308 


$35,679 


$55,210 


$75,916 


$155,384 


Volumes in 














Library 














(Catalogued) . 


. 87,857 


95,297 


105,742 


121,402 


151,520 


192,915 


Increase 




7,435 


10,450 


15,660 


30,118 


41,495 



Among the acquisitions, those in the domains of Medicine 
and Law stand first. The Medical Library, housed in the Duke 
University Hospital and known as the Hospital Library, has 
been made possible by a grant for capital expenditure by the 
Duke Endowment. On July 1, the number of volumes ac- 
cessioned was 11,690, with as many unaccessioned. The 
collection consists primarily of periodicals and monographs 
embracing 410 titles. These include, besides strictly medical 
publications, many in the related fields of science ; as Bio-chem- 
istry, Biology, Psychology, Physics, and Home Economics. In 
addition there are monographic serials of importance for the 
entire realm of science; as the Philosophical Transactions of 
the Royal Society of London, the Histoire, Memoirs, et Compte 
Rendus de VAcademie de Sciences (Paris), and the Proceed- 
ings of the Koninklyke Academie von Wetenschoppen (Am- 
sterdam). Note should also be made of the acquisition in 
photostatic reprint of the scientific and mathematical works of 

(3) 



Leonardo da Vinci. The Hospital Library is also the beneficiary 
for the medical books and periodicals collected by the late Dr. 
J. Howell Way, a member of the North Carolina State Board 
of Health. 

The year has also marked an increase in the acquisition of 
legal literature. There is now available in the Law Library 
the reports, original or in reprint, of all the American and 
English courts of last resort. Files of legal periodicals have 
been extended and a good foundation has been laid for an ex- 
tensive collection of American statutes. 

On the part of the General Library of the University every 
effort has been made to increase periodical literature. Sixty 
new subscriptions have been entered, and complete files or ad- 
ditions to existing files have been made for 161 titles. Among 
the notable accessions are the following sets : in Science, the - 
Journal fur Praktische Chemie, Physikalische Zeitschrift, An- 
nalen der Physik, Zoblogisches Centralblatt, Zeitschrift fur 
Biologie, the Journal of Botany, Bulletin et Memoirs de la So- 
ciete Botanique de France, and Engineering News; in Religion 
and Theology, the Theologische Literaturzeitung , Zeitschrift 
fur Kir xhengeschi 'elite, Chronik der Christlichen Welt, Theol- 
ogische Rundschau, Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft, Die 
Chris tliche Welt, and Bulletin de la So ciete du Protestantism 
(Francaise) ; many English serials of the eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries have been acquired, including the North 
British Review, Scots Magazine, the Craftsman, the Guardian, 
the London Magazine, the North Britain, the Remembrancer, 
and the True Britain; and in Italian a complete file of the 
Giornale D ant esc o. Closely related to the increase of period- 
icals is that of newspaper files. Aside from the acquisition of 
hundreds of miscellaneous titles, complete files or long runs 
have been secured of the London Times, since 1870, the New 
York Herald, 1860-1918, the Friend, leading Quaker Period- 
ical (1827-1927) ; and a large collection of English newspapers 
pf the eighteenth century, including some thirty-five titles. 

(4) 



Concentration as well as the meeting of general needs has 
also characterized the acquisitions of the General Library. 
Fifteen research grants ranging from $200 to $500 have en- 
abled as many professors to secure materials needed in their 
advanced work. Special appropriations supplementing those 
for current needs have been made in the Romantic Period of 
English Literature ; in German literature, over 500 volumes re- 
lating to the life, works, and criticism of Goethe have been 
added; a collection of 1700 volumes, representing the leading 
Scandinavian authors since 1860, has been acquired, and sev- 
eral hundred titles have also been added to the large and grow- 
ing collection of Southern Americana. Of more than passing 
significance has been the gathering, in the past two years, of 
several hundred volumes pertaining to the political and cultural 
development of Brazil, some two hundred volumes coming 
by exchange from the National Library of Brazil. Such is 
the first step to assemble the literature of Portuguese South 
America, a collection which will supplement the materials al- 
ready available for Hispanic America. 

The year has also been a high-water mark in the acquisition 
of manuscripts. Years ago this class of material was collected 
to a certain extent by the Trinity College Historical Society. 
Then came an interregnum and few manuscripts were secured. 
Now there is a veritable revival of interest as the following 
items indicate : from beyond the seas a number of manuscripts 
of Dante Gabriel Rossetti have been acquired, which include 
500 lines of unpublished verse, twenty-five being sonnets in 
English and two in Italian; many original versions of poems 
already published ; a prose sketch for the narrative poem Rose 
Mary; plans for an unfinished lyrical tragedy, "Doom of the 
Sirens" ; and notes for "God's Grael," of which only a few 
lines were ever composed. Pertinent to American literary his- 
tory has been the rescue of 1200 pages of manuscripts, once 
belonging to Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers, lost Georgia poet, 
friend and contemporary of Edgar Allan Poe. The collection 

(5) 



includes fifty-three letters to Chi vers, twenty-eight by Chi vers, 
four plays, sixty-seven essays, and 307 poems. Of interest to 
literary history also is the acquisition of the manuscripts of 
Mary Harden and her father, General Edward Harden, of 
Georgia. Another acquisition is a Diary of Alexander B. 
Meek, Alabama poet, and his manuscript copy of "Red Eagle" ; 
a number of letters of other literary men of America have also 
been acquired. 

Of real as well as associational value is a manuscript 
ledger, Official Register of the Confederate States Congress, 
which gives the captions, dates of passage by Congress and of 
signature by President Jefferson Davis, of the statutes enacted 
by the Congress of the Confederate States. Since the Confed- 
erate Statutes, as printed, were never all published in one col- 
lection, and since many statutes were never given to the press, 
this Register has the peculiar value of being the only complete 
and official check list of Confederate legislation. In addition, 
the Library has also acquired ninety manuscript acts and reso- 
lutions of the Confederate Congress, of which many were ap- 
parently never published. There have also been added to the 
Library's Confederate treasures, as a loan, the war-time diary 
of William R. Hanleiter, Southern journalist, and many South- 
ern soldiers' letters. For the earlier ante-bellum period of the 
South a considerable block of the correspondence of William H. 
Crawford has been acquired, and a number of ledgers and ac- 
count books, particularly that of a hay-producing plantation in 
Georgia. In the new Library building a large room equipped 
with steel letter boxes has been provided for the preservation 
of manuscript treasures. 

The gifts and special collections have increased. The num- 
ber of volumes added from this source totals 8,126, and a list 
of donors is given in Appendix A, in as far as their donations 
have been accessioned; those unaccessioned will be acknowl- 
edged in future reports. Particular mention must be made of 
the presentation of a file of the Friend by the heirs of Miss Ann 

(6) 



Fry and the establishment of the Thomas Collection by Mrs. 
William P. Few in memory of her father, Honorable Lyne S. 
Thomas ; of large additions to the Flowers Collection by Mr. 
W. W. Flowers of New York City, and valuable contributions 
toward the purchase of books by the Associates of the Duke 
University Library. The Commercial and Financial Chronicle 
of New York, the Connecticut State Library, Princeton Uni- 
versity, and the Baker Library of the Harvard Business School 
have donated several thousand volumes and pamphlets. The 
Joseph G. Brown Fund, $4,000 raised by the friends of Mr. 
Brown as a memorial to his memory, has been definitely as- 
signed to the School of Religion, and likewise the Grattan Wil- 
liams Fund. The Register Fund, the bequest of Dr. E. C. 
Register of Charlotte, has been assigned to the Medical School. 
As this report is written, the various units composing the 
Duke Libraries are housed in new buildings. On the West 
Campus the General Library has large and well-appointed 
quarters; and there, also, is the Law Library (Law Building) 
and the Hospital Library (Hospital Building) ; while the Li- 
brary Building on the East Campus is allocated to the Woman's 
College. The heads of the executive staff are as follows : 
Joseph P. Breedlove, Librarian of the General Library; Wil- 
liam R. Roalfe, Law Librarian; Miss Judith Farrar, Librarian 
of the Hospital Library; Mrs. Lillian B. Griggs, Librarian of 
the Woman's College Library ; and William K. Boyd, Director 
of Libraries. 

Joseph P. Breedlove, Librarian 
of the General Library. 

William K. Boyd, Director. 



(7) 



APPENDIX A 

Gifts Accessioned 
The following is a list of accessions to the Library, entered 
July 1, 1929- June 30, 1930: Ainslie, Peter, 2; Alabama State 
Department Archives, 6; Alexander, Mrs. S. A., 4; Alexander, 
T. R., 1 ; Alfred Williams Co., 1 ; Allen, Ivey, Jr., 1 ; American 
Book Co., 10; American Federation of Labor, 1; American 
Federation for Public Service, 1 ; American Historical Asso- 
ciation, 1 ; American Issue Publishing Co., 43 ; American Jew- 
ish Committee, 2 ; American Red Cross, 1 ; American Tariff 
League, 2 ; American Tree Association, 1 ; Amherst College, 
1 ; Andrews, Robert Lee, 1 ; Anderson, Ewing, 1 ; Anderson, 
M. E., 1 ; Andrews, A. B., 1 ; Association of American Col- 
leges, 1 ; Association of Land Grant Colleges, 1 ; Avera Bible 
Fund, 1 ; Avery, I. E. Fund, 11 ; Balch, C. P., 1 ; Barton, L. M., 
1 ; Basler, R. P., 1 ; Bassett, Mrs. J. S., 28; Bell, Lila, 1 ; Bell, 
W. B., 26; Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co., 2 ; Bennett, Mar- 
garet, 1 ; Benton, James, 1 ; Bernard, Mrs. W. S., 1 ; Berrien, 
L. M., 1; Biology Book Fund, 3; Birch, J. C. H., 1; Bird 
Fund, 1 ; Blake, Nelson M., 1 ; Blalock, Verona, 1 ; Blomquist, 
H. L., 1 ; Board of Lay Activities of M. E. Church, 1 ; Bogert, 
G. G., 1; Book Association of Friends, 7; Boyd, W. K., 44; 
Bradshaw, Miss Eugenia, 1 ; Brame, Elsie, 1 ; Brannon, P. A., 
1; Brecher, G. A., 1; Brissie, Aileen, 2; British Library of 
Information, 1 ; Britton, George T., 1 ; Broadway, Blanche, 1 ; 
Brown, A. E., 1 ; Brown, Dr. F. C, 18; Brown University, 12; 
Browning, H. D., 1 ; Bryan, L. A., 2 ; Burdin and Co., 2 ; Cana- 
dian Committee on Modern Language, 3; Cannon, James III, 3; 
Carded Woolen Manufacturing Association, 1 ; Carnegie En- 
dowment, 37; Carnegie Institute, 3; Carpenter, C. R., 1; Car- 
roll, C. F. Jr., 1 ; Carroll, J. E., 1 ; Carroll, Zoe W., 1 ; Cary High 
School, 1 ; Castes, Mary D., 1 ; Catholic University, 1 ; Chaffin, 
Nora, 1 ; Champion, E. C, 1 ; Chao-Chu, Wu, 1 ; Chase, Dr. 

(8) 



Louis, 1 ; Cheatham, Cora Lee, 1 ; Chemistry Book Fund, 1 ; 
Chen, W. Y., 1 ; Chinese Instruction in America, 1 ; Clark, 
Blanche Henry, 1 ; Clark, H. D., 1 ; Class of 1909, 79 ; Class of 
1913, 116; Classical Club, 3; Clingman, Thomas L., 1 ; Cokes- 
bury Press, 26; Coleman, T. R., 1 ; Coltrane, J. E., 1 ; Columbia 
University, Teachers College, 1 ; Columbia University, 5 ; Col- 
lege of the City of New York, 1 ; Committee for Relief in 
Belgium, 2; Committee on Uniform Crime Records, 1; Con- 
necticut, State of, 2 ; Cook, W. W., 1 ; Cooper, F. A. G., 1 ; 
Cornell University, 4 ; Council on Foreign Relations, 1 ; Creig, 
Jane Marie, 1 ; Cristenbury, Elva, 1 ; Cromwell, William Nel- 
son, 1 ; Croy, O. E., 1 ; Culberson, Gladys, 1 ; Cunningham, 
Bert, 10; Cunningham, M. E., 1; Cutter, W. A., 1; Davis, 
Rose May, 1 ; Dawson and Sons, 2 ; DeBruyne, J. M. A., 2 ; 
Dehler, Sophie, 1 ; Democratic National Committee, 1 ; Den- 
nison Manufacturing Co., 1 ; Dight, J. C, 2; Doob, L. W., 1 ; 
Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1 ; Duke Endowment, 1 ; Duke 
University, 1 ; Duke University, Alumni Association, 4 ; Duke 
University, Education Department, 2 ; Duke University Press, 
365 ; Dunkle, Margaret, 1 ; Dunn, lone H., 3 ; Dunn, Mrs. J. K., 
1 ; Durst, Joseph, 1 ; Dutton, Alice, 1 ; Economics Class Funds, 
35; Edgerton, R. O., 1; Education Class Fund, 212; Ehrlich, 
John, 1 ; Elliott, E. R., 1 ; Erdman, Charles R., 1 ; Evaporated 
Milk Inc., 1 ; Everett, Mrs. J. LeGrand, 1 ; Exchange, 262 ; 
Ezzell, C. W., 1; Faulkner, Littlejohn, 10; Federal Council of 
Churches in America, 1; Few, W. P., 15; Few, Mrs. W. P., 
13; Flanders, R. B., 1 ; W. W. Flowers Fund, 30; Flowers, 
Mrs. Fred, 35; Flowers, Mrs. R. L., 30; Flowers, R. L., 15; 
Fock, Gustav, 1 ; Foreman, Eleanor B., 1 ; Frank, A. M., 1 ; 
Fry, Miss Ann W., 65; Fry, G. A., 1 ; Fuller, Miss Carrie, 2; 
Garner, G. L., 1 ; Garrard, Annie W., 1 ; Garrison, R. C, 1 ; 
Gathings, J. A., 1 ; Georgia Geological Survey, 1 ; Gibson, W. 
M., 1; Gill, H. Aurelia, 1; Gill Fund, 8; Gillespie, A. G., 2; 
Gillock, Emmie, 1; Ginn and Co., 12; Glasson, Lucy P., 1; 
Glasson, W. H., 50; Goday, Armand, 2; Godbey, Allen H., 

(9) 



1; Goddard, J. M., 1; Gilbert, Allen H., 2; Gondon Pub- 
lishing Co., 1; Gordon, R. W., 1; Gracie, Mrs. Archibald, 2; 
Grant, Minnie S., 1; Grattan Williams Fund, 51; Green, 
Mary V., 1 ; Griffin, Mabel, 1 ; Grigg, Claude, 1 ; Gross, 
Paul M., 2; Hachett Publishing Co., 1; Haddock, R. A., 1; 
Hall, B. M., 1 ; Hall, F. J., 1 ; Hampton Institute, 1 ; Harris, 
C. L., 1 ; Harris, H. L., 1 ; Harton, B. L. Jr., 1 ; Harvard Uni- 
versity, 2; Harvill, R. A., 1 ; Hayes, W. H., 1 ; Haynes, Mar- 
garet, 1; Henry Holt and Co., 6; Henry, Sibyl, 1; Hickman, 
Dr. F. S., 1 ; Highfell, F. G., 1 ; Hispanic Society of America, 
6; History Class Funds, 91 ; Hodges, W. E., 1 ; Holt, I. T., 1 ; 
Holton, Holland, 34; Hoover, C. B., 3 ; Hubbell, J. B., 13 ; Ide, 
Walter S., 1 ; Illinois State Historical Library, 1 ; International 
Oratorical Contest, 1 ; International Relations Club, 1 1 ; Italian 
Digest, 1 ; Jenkins, S. S., 2 ; Jenkins, W. A., 1 ; Jessup, P. C, 1 ; 
Johns Hopkins University, 1; Johnson Publishing Co., 7; 
Johnson, D. S., 1 ; Jones, Mrs. T. D., 1 ; Jordan, G. Ray, 1 ; 
Joseph G. Brown Fund, 15 ; Judaeans, 1 ; Kappa Delta Phi, 1 ; 
Kabel, William, 1 ; Keever, H. M., 1 ; Kellam, W. P., 1 ; Ken- 
tucky State Library, 1 ; Ketring, R. A., 1 ; Kirkpatrick, C. A., 
1; Kirkpatrick, D. E., 1; Kolb, E. C, 1; Krafft, C. F., 2; 
Kumro, D. M., 1; Lackey, O. N., 1; Lagerstedt, K. R., 1; 
Landon, Charles E., 1 ; Lanning, John Tate, 1 ; Laprade, W. T., 
1; Laube, H. D., 1; Law Fund, 10; Law Publication Fund, 
403; League for Industrial Democracy, 2; League for Inter- 
national Relations, 2; Leland-Stanford University, 4; Leslie 
Woman Suffrage, 1 ; Levenson, J., 2; Library of Congress, 1 ; 
Li gge tt-Meyers Research Fund, 2 ; Lister, J. T., 1 ; Little, L. C, 
1 ; Lowery, M. L, 2; McCallie, S. W., 1 ; McCulloch, Thomas 
L., 1; McDougal, William, 1; McEwen, N. R., 1; Macow, 
E. H., 1; Maden, W. L., 1; Malone, E. E., 10; Manchester, 
A. K., 1 ; Marx, H. Schoffrner, 1 ; Maryland Agricultural So- 
ciety, 1 ; Mathews, J. C, 1 ; Mathews, J. J., 1 ; Meeker, J. E., 
1; Meeter, A. V., 2; Melhoramentos, 1; Meredith College, 1; 
M. E. Church, South, Board of Education, 1 ; M. E. Church, 

(10) 



South, Woman's Missionary Society, 1 ; Mexican Government, 
4; Meyers, C. R., 1; Meyers, H. E., 1; Michigan University, 
4; Michigan University Press, 1; Miller, C. H. Jr., 1; Miller, 
J. C, 1 ; Missionary Research Library, 22 ; Mississippi State 
Department of Archives and History, 1 ; Mississippi Historical 
Association, 1; Moorehead, W. K., 6; Morris, Elizabeth, 1; 
Morrison, Harriet M., 1; Moore, H. C, 1; Motion Picture 
Producers, 1 ; Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory, 1 ; 
National Auto Chamber of Commerce, 1 ; National Education 
Association, 1 ; National Electric Light Association, 1 ; Na- 
tional Research Council, 1 ; National Tax Association, 1 ; New 
Jersey Experiment Station, 1 ; New York Department of 
Charities, 1 ; New York Industrial Commission, 1 ; New York 
Southern Society, 1 ; New York Department of State, 3 ; New 
York State Department of Health, 1 ; New York State Indus- 
trial Safety Congress, 1 ; New York Stock Exchange, 1 ; Nich- 
olson, M. L., 1; North Carolina Department of State, 14; 
North Carolina College for Women, 3 ; North Carolina His- 
torical Commission, 5 ; North Carolina Library Association, 1 ; 
North Carolina Library Commission, 1 ; North Carolina Par- 
ent Teachers Association, 2 ; North Carolina Secretary of 
State, 1 1 ; North Carolina Tax Commission, 6 ; North Dakota 
Historical Society, 2; Nunn, Lilian B., 1; Omicron Delta 
Kappa, Beta Chapter, 1 ; Ogden, W. C, 1 ; Ohio State Uni- 
versity, 1 ; Oklahoma State Department, 1 ; Oregon Historical 
Society, 1 ; Ormond, A. L., 1 ; Pace, Donald M., 1 ; Page, 
Kirby, 1; Pan American Union, 6; Patterson, J. C, 1; Peg- 
ram Chemistry Club, 2 ; Pegram, J. E., 2 ; Peppier, Charles W., 
1; Pettigrew, R. C, 1; Political Science, 27, 1928-29, 2 
Powell, B. E., 1 ; Powell, Mary Ellen, 1 ; Powell, T. E. Jr., 1 
Price, Nancy, 1; Princeton University, 46; Pridgen, L. I., 1 
Priepke, R. J., 2; Pritchett, W. K., 1; Proctor, A. M., 1; R 
Schalkenback Fund, 3; Ragland, E. G., 1; Rand McNally, 4 
Ratchford, B. U., 9; Rayner, K. T., 1 ; Reade, E. W., 1 ; Reg- 
ional Plan of New York, 3 ; Remey, C. M., 1 ; Rice Institute, 

(in 



2; Rielly, J. J., 1; Rivera, Rodolfo, 1; Robert, J. C, 1; Rob- 
ertson, A. T. Jr., 1 ; Rockefeller Foundation, 1 ; Rockefeller 
Institute, 1 ; Rodriquez-Diago, Andre, 1 ; Rodwell, Mary 
Frances, 1 ; Rogers, H. H., 1 ; Rooker, Bessie, 1 ; Root, R. W., 
1 ; Rosenberger, J. L., 1 ; Ruddick, G. B., 1 ; Rumbold, D. W., 
1 ; Runyan, Theodore, 1 ; Ryan, C. B., 1 ; Sands, Alexander, 
2; Sasser, Roxie J., 1; Sawyer, W. H., 7; Saylor, J. EL, 2; 
Schallert, Dorothea A., 1 ; Seaboard Air Line Railway, 2 ; 
Sears, Roebuck and Co., 2; Seay, Hibernia, 1; Shafer, J. S., 
1; Shastid, T. H., 1; Sherwell, G. B., 1; Shipp Collection, 4; 
Silver, Burdett and Co., 5 ; Simmons, E. H. H., 1 ; Sinclair 
Upton, 2; Slade Collection, 1; Smith, H. C, 5; Smith, Willis. 
7; Smith College, 1; Smith, Sara O., 1; Social Science Re- 
search Council, 2; Soper, E. D., 2; Source Unknown, 204; 
Speer, Robert E., 1; Spivey, Lucy, 1; Spivey, Thomas S., 4; 
The State (Columbia, S. C), 1; Stackhouse, A. E., 1; Star- 
ling, Mary Lee, 1; Stechert, G. E., 15; Stem, Margaret, 1; 
Stephens, H. W., 1 ; Stephens, Miss Kate, 2 ; Stewart, Lilian, 
1 ; Strowd, W. F., 1 ; Spence, Charlotte G., 1 ; Stewart, Sara, 
1 ; Sullivan, Jane, 255 ; Swanson, J. C, 1 ; Theosophical So- 
ciety, 1; Thigpen, R. E., 2; Thomas, J. A., 227; Tokyo De- 
partment of Education, 1 ; Trenthan, Ina R., 1 ; Trenthanm, 
S. O., 1 ; Trueblood, Paul G., 1 ; Truesdale, J. N., 1 ; Tyree, 
Elizabeth D., 1 ; Underwood, E. T., 1 ; United Fruit Growers, 
1 ; University of Buffalo, 1 ; University of Chicago, 1 ; Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press, 1 ; University of Iowa, 2 ; University of 
Michigan, 2 ; University of Minnesota, 1 ; University of North 
Carolina, 2 ; University of Oregon, 1 ; University of Pennsyl- 
vania, 37; United States Government, 1,396; United States 
Naval Academy, 1 ; Van Nostrand Publishing Co., 1 ; Vassar 
College, 2 ; Virginia State Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion, 1 ; Wade, L. M., 1 ; Wannamaker, W. H., 1 ; Weaver, 
C. C, 10; Webb Book Co., 1 ; Webb, T. A., 1 ; Weiss and Co., 
1 ; Westerhof, A. C, 1 ; Weston, Neila, 1 ; White, Gladys Ruth, 
1 ; Whitlam, Mrs., 3 ; Wiese, Bernice, 1 ; Winston Co., 3 ; Wis- 

(12) 



consin University, 3 ; Whaley, Otis, 1 ; Wheeler, Harold P., 1 ; 
Whaley, Grace W., 1 ; White, Dr. N. I, 1 ; Williams, Mrs. 
W. H., 17; Wolfe, F. A., 1 ; Wolfe Fund, 5 ; Womack, J. G., 
2; Wood, T. W., 1 ; Woody, R. H., 1 ; World Peace Founda- 
tion, 1 ; Wrenn, S. N., 1 ; Wynne, Waller Jr., 1 ; Young Peo- 
ple's Union, 4. 



(13) 



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Number 4 July, 1931 



THE MAHAN LETTERS 

— Chiles 



Durham 
North Carolina 

1931 




fill 1 




SAMUEL<AC0URT<4SH£>~ 



LETTERS OF ALFRED THAYER MAHAN 

TO 

SAMUEL A' COURT ASHE 

(1858-59) 



EDITED BY 

ROSA PENDLETON CHILES 



Duke University Library Bulletin 

Number 4 

Durham, North Carolina 

July, 1931 



CONTENTS 

Foreword — Samuel A'Court Ashe v 

Introduction — Rosa Pendleton Chiles vii 

The Letters 1 



FOREWORD 

Alfred Thayer Mahan was raised in the atmosphere of West 
Point, where his father was a distinguished professor and author. 
While at the Naval Academy, his father wrote to him "to stand 
up to his work bravely, and always in the tone of a high-minded 
Christian gentleman." During the Christmas holidays of 1870, 
Mahan spent some ten days with me at Wilmington and he proved 
to have been responsive to his father's injunction. In life he became 
a devout Christian and was much interested and engaged in church 
work, while in intellectual performance he ranks among the very 
first naval officers of the world. 

These letters throwing light on early life at the Naval Academy 
have been prepared for publication by Miss Rosa Pendleton Chiles, 
a writer of experience and particularly gifted in historical endeavor, 
whose work has received gratifying notice in this country and 
abroad. Her thorough editing of these letters not only affords 
pleasing illumination but adds greatly to their historical value. 
It is with unusual satisfaction that I extend to her my grateful 
acknowledgments for the admirable manner in which this difficult 
undertaking has been prosecuted. The letters themselves, and 
others from Mahan to me, are deposited in the Library of Duke 
University. 

Samuel A'Court Ashe. 

Raleigh, N. C. 

April 16, 1931. 



[v] 



INTRODUCTION 
I 

Whether it be true or not that the "child is father to the 
man," interest in the youth of every great man compels his 
biographer to trace the signs of his early years for promise of 
eminence. He is likely to find it in the outstanding character- 
istics of the adolescent period, sometimes by a study of sterling 
qualities manifested in serious moments, sometimes more effectively 
in the spontaneous phrases of an old letter or a fragment on a 
fly-leaf. But for the truest analysis he must delve freely into 
the correspondence of the youth with his heart's mate — not a girl 
but a boy — the outpourings of one soul to another of its kind, 
chosen from his fellows by instinct surer than any that may guide 
him in selections of later years. Such letters as a rule are not 
readily obtainable, as boys are likely to destroy correspondence, 
but occasionally a rich field opens up unexpectedly. 

More than seventy years have elapsed since Alfred Mahan 
and Samuel Ashe found in each other a complete union of spirit, 
soon welded into a friendship lasting to the end of the former's 
life, and now Ashe, ninety years old, speaks of it with such 
freshness and fragrance as suggest placing it among the classic 
friendships of all time. As an historic fact it will become en- 
shrined in the records of the time in which they lived, a tribute 
to an age which produced such friendships. A comradeship so 
rare, deep-rooted and abiding in any age grows richer in interest 
when the careers of the men between whom it existed have become 
a heritage to mankind. With these two, while Mahan's achieve- 
ments give him a world prominence Ashe does not enjoy, the out- 
put of both lives has been broad and fine enough to inspire pro- 
found emulation and both will have a lasting place in history. 
The life of Mahan, whose brilliant and useful career, always over- 
crowded, ended shortly after the beginning of the cataclysm in 

[vii] 



viii Introduction 

Europe which drew into its surging destruction well-nigh all the 
combatant forces of the civilized world, is known to every one to 
whom the progress of naval history and the development of naval 
strategy mean anything, nor does the growth of the peace ideal 
since his passing lessen the indebtedness of the world to his remark- 
able genius and ability. One of the foremost of naval strategists 
and ablest of naval writers, his name will illumine naval annals 
while navies exist and the progressive diminishing of the naval 
strength of the world, so ardently projected, will in no wise impair 
the fame he earned. 

The compass of these brief remarks will not admit of more 
than the barest outline of the work of either man, a mere tracery 
to cover the years. Though different in objective the two lives 
from the beginning had essentially one standard and one ideal, 
and it is of particular interest to observe that they developed 
along the original lines of character and desire which drew them 
together as boys. Building upon a rock-bottom foundation of 
sterling worth and steady aim, they deviated not at all from the 
great purpose of life, though varying at times the object sought. 
Strange that neither felt suited to a naval career. Mahan's father 
thought his son made a mistake in choosing the Navy and Mahan 
himself, both early and later in life, granted that his father was 
right. Ashe recalls that when, in their boyhood, they discussed 
the future, Mahan said he did not desire to become famous as a 
naval hero, but as an intellectual superior, a master by reason of 
mental power and output of the pen, choosing the scholastic side 
of naval endeavor. Rear Admiral Colby M. Chester told the 
writer that Mahan, just before beginning his volumes on sea 
power, said to him : "Chester, the reason the Navy has no history 
is because it has had no naval officer to write it. I am going to write 
history." "Then," added Admiral Chester, "of course he became 
famous overnight." Ashe found before completing the course at the 
Naval Academy that it would be better for him not to continue in 



Introduction ix 

the service. On the practice cruises he was so afflicted with mal de 
mer that it appeared impracticable for him to pursue the life. 
Amusing references will be found in Mahan's letters to him to this 
malady. But he was essentially not a ship man, being, like Mahan, 
an intellectual and preferring the writing of history, in which 
his greatest work has been done. It may be said of him that he 
first made history and then wrote it, for he not only had an active 
part in the War between the States but has ever since shared in 
public matters and been a leader in thought and action in North 
Carolina for seventy years. His leaving Annapolis was a matter 
of deep regret, not only to the midshipmen, among whom he was 
a prime favorite, but also to the faculty, who regarded him highly. 
References to the regret expressed concerning his resignation will 
be found in some of Mahan's letters to him. He was second in 
his class, Mahan being third. After he left Mahan, of course, 
became second and so graduated. 

II 

Alfred Thayer Mahan was born at West Point, N. Y., where 
his father was for many years a professor in the U. S. Military 
Academy, September 27, 1840. Well prepared for advanced 
study, he spent two years in Columbia College, New York, and 
three years at the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., graduat- 
ing in June, 1859. His first naval service was on the frigate Con- 
gress, on the Brazil station. During the War between the States 
he served in the Potomac Flotilla, twice in the South Atlantic 
Blockading Squadron and once in the West Gulf Blockading 
Squadron. He rose from the rank of midshipman to that of lieu- 
tenant during the war and by June, 1865, to that of lieutenant 
commander. Subsequent to the war he was on ordnance duty in 
Washington, D. C. ; on the Asiatic station ; at the Navy Yard, 
New York, and on the U. S. S. Worcester. In 1872 he was pro- 
moted to the rank of commander. Later he served on the Receiving 



x Introduction 

Ship at New York; as commander of the U. S. S. Wasp in the 
Rio de la Plata; at the Navy Yard, Boston; at the U. S. Naval 
Academy, Annapolis ; again at the Navy Yard, New York, and as 
commander of the U. S. S. Wachusetts, South Pacific Squadron. 
In 1885 he was promoted to the rank of captain and then his fine 
intellectual abilities began to be utilized when he became lecturer 
on Naval History and Strategy in the Naval War College, New- 
port, R. I., and a little later when he was made president of the 
Naval War College. When asked to accept the lectureship he 
wrote Ashe that he hesitated to undertake it, not being sure of 
his ability. While president of the War College he repeat dly 
sought the influence of Ashe with North Carolina Congressmen to 
aid in securing appropriations. His efforts to keep the college open 
in spite of the pitiful appropriations allowed form a chapter in 
naval history themselves. For a while he was on special duty in 
the Bureau of Navigation, U. S. Navy Department, and then again 
became president of the Naval War College. Following this he 
was commander of the U. S. S. Chicago, on the European station. 
All the while he was considering the possibility of devoting the 
remainder of his life to writing, contributing at times to maga- 
zines and testing his ability to satisfy editors and be sure of his 
earning power. He alludes to this in his letters to Ashe. Finally 
he declared his intention of retiring. Upon application, after forty 
years' service, he was retired with the rank of captain in 1896 
in order to give his full time to writing on naval subjects. Later 
he was on special duty in connection with the Naval War College ; 
member of the Naval War Board, Spanish-American War, which, 
according to a statement by Secretary Long, did not make a single 
mistake ; delegate to the Hague Peace Conference and President of 
the American Historical Association In 1906 he was appointed 
Rear- Admiral on the retired list. Subsequently he performed special 
duty in the U. S. Navy Department in connection with reorgani- 
zation of the department. 



Introduction xi 

Before retirement Mahan wrote four valuable books on naval 
subjects, including two on sea power. After retirement he wrote 
sixteen major works, including two dealing directly with sea 
power. He also contributed numerous articles to the magazines. 
As an evidence of his wide influence as a naval writer, translations 
of some of his works have been made in German, French, Italian, 
Spanish and Japanese. He received the degree of D. C. L. from 
Oxford and of LL.D. from Cambridge and Harvard before retire- 
ment and afterwards the degree of LL.D. from Yale, Columbia, 
Dartmouth and Magill. 

Admiral Mahan's death occurred at the U. S. Naval Hospital, 
Washington, D. C, December 1, 1914, at the age of seventy- four. 

Ashe's life has been different from Mahan's in labor and 
objective, but like Mahan's always actuated by lofty aims and 
the highest standards of conduct and endeavor. Descended from 
noted patriots, he inherited a sense of public responsibility which 
has enabled him to contribute more than almost any other man 
of his day to the moral, social, civic and political life of his state. 
He has never been a seeker after office, but has been the quiet 
force back of many notable achievements making history in North 
Carolina. As a Democrat his pen has written many of the party 
papers and his editorials have trained and led the public mind. 
After his resignation at Annapolis he devoted himself to the study 
of law and of history and literature in their bearing upon law, but 
war interrupted his studies. His war service was as follows : 
Lieutenant North Carolina State troops, assigned to duty at Fort 
Caswell : in Company I, Eighth Regiment, later Eighteenth North 
Carolina Troops. Subsequently he received a commission in the 
Regular Confederate Army and performed effective service at the 
arsenal, Charleston, S. C. As captain and adjutant general on 
the staff of General Pender, he took part in the campaign against 
Pope and was mentioned for gallantry at the Battle of Cedar Run. 
Reconnoitering with a single attendant at the time of the Second 



xii Introduction 

Battle of Manassas, he was taken prisoner and sent on parole to 
Washington, his pass through the Federal lines unescorted being 
one of the unique papers of the war. After exchange he was 
assigned to duty in General Clingman's brigade and took part in 
the defense of Charleston, S. C. Later he served as ordnance 
officer at Battery Wagner, Charleston, where he was constantly 
under fire while repairing at night the awful damage done by day 
in one of the fiercest sieges of the war. When the fort was 
evacuated he reported for duty at Fayetteville, N. C, serving 
under Col. F. L. Childs. Accepting an inferior position after the 
close of hostilities, he again, in leisure hours, took up the study 
of law. Still later, after he had begun the practice of law, Mahan 
did for him a beautiful thing in a beautiful way. He had not 
heard from Ashe since the war ended, but having, on a cruise, 
saved five hundred dollars, when he returned to the United States 
he sent it to Ashe, saying, "If you have survived the war you will 
need it. I would take it from you; you must take it from me." 
Ashe accepted it as a loan and the fact of his returning it is 
recorded in these letters long afterwards. Ashe formed a partner- 
ship in the most important law firm in the state and did notable 
work. Later, entering the political field, he sought to avert or 
overcome the horrors of Reconstruction. He became one of the 
most active members of the North Carolina Legislature and is 
conceded to have "had more to do with the legislation of that 
eventful and critical period than any other member." He soon 
entered the editorial arena and his paper, The Evening Crescent, 
is said to have done more than any other agency to redeem the 
state. He owned and edited, successively, several North Carolina 
papers, including the present Raleigh News and Observer, and 
was one of the ablest editors in the South. For years he was 
chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee and his pen 
wrote most of the party papers. Recently U. S. Senator F. M. 
Simmons has declared that Captain, now General, Ashe is one of 



Introduction xiii 

the most remarkable men in North Carolina and practically every 
other prominent man in the state would say the same. Certainly, 
he is one of the best loved men any state ever produced. His de- 
clining years are largely spent, aside from active, busy service, in 
acknowledging letters of esteem and affection which daily fill 
his mail. 

The work for which Ashe will be chiefly remembered and 
which will be his monument for all time is his "History of North 
Carolina," said to be one of the best histories of any state yet 
published. He helped to prepare the Colonial and State Records 
of North Carolina and was editor-in-chief of the "Biographical 
History of North Carolina," but his main work has been the 
writing of the narrative history of the state. This task he com- 
pleted at eighty-five. In 1917 the University of North Carolina 
conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. and in 1930 the Con- 
federate Veterans' Organization conferred upon him the title of 
Brigadier General. 

Ill 

During the years of busy life for each the friendship between 
Mahan and Ashe continued, always fragrant with memories and 
abiding affection. Visits were exchanged, Mahan on at least two 
occasions being Ashe's guest in Raleigh and Ashe visiting him 
at West Point. Their correspondence also continued, though 
not without interruptions. Not one letter from either was ever 
dictated or typed. It was their custom to sign nearly all letters 
to each other "Affectionately." Ashe preserved Mahan's, but 
Mahan, moving about in naval assignment, could not preserve 
Ashe's. After Mahan's death, someone, reading one of his letters 
to Ashe, suggested that it be destroyed because of its intimate 
nature, and Ashe, acquiescing with reluctance, remarked, "It hurts 
me. I hesitate to do it because he signed it 'Affectionately'." 

These letters are, in the main, self-interpretive. The group 
offered now, being of the midshipman period, are boyish and 



xiv Introduction 

filled with personal comment. The two were so intimate that 
naturally, in writing to each other, criticisms of persons and condi- 
tions were freely made. They were both high-minded youths and 
Ashe says that before he left Annapolis he and Mahan had agreed 
to try to raise the standard of their class and of the institution. 
They regarded the honor of the Academy and its regulations as 
imposing superior claims to allegiance to those existing between 
classmates, and Mahan, after Ashe left, submitted to the distress- 
ing experience of being placed in Coventry rather than deviate 
from what he deemed to be his duty to the institution and the 
naval service at the time. Frequent reference to this is made in 
his letters to Ashe and even after the lapse of approximately a 
half century, when he and his classmates had retired and some 
had passed on, he referred to it with feeling. Speaking of another 
Rear Admiral, he wrote, "He was one of those who coventried 
me, but we do not speak of that now." It was plain to see, how- 
ever, that Mahan still felt the sting of it. Comments made in these 
letters are frequently condemnatory and at times tinged with 
bitterness, but they are natural and pardonable. If, in their day, 
they might have given offense in some instances, certainly after a 
lapse of seventy-two years no ill will could be harbored against a 
sensitive, free-spoken youth like Mahan writing to his best loved 
comrade. They are presented because they afford a vivid picture 
of the youthful Mahan and disclose motives, principles and affec- 
tions that controlled his entire life but were not so intimately 
revealed in later years. 

IV 

For the benefit of those not familiar with naval matters into 
whose hands these letters may fall it may be well to give a brief 
outline of the U. S. Naval Academy, merely enough to render 
the letters themselves more intelligible and to add a moiety of 
interest to their vital contents. 



Introduction xv 

This famous school, established in 1845, first bore the name 
Naval School. Its first superintendent was Commander Franklin 
Buchanan, later to become famed as commander of the ironclad 
Virginia (Merrimac), made admiral in the Southern service while 
in command of the Confederate Squadron in Hampton Roads for 
victories won on Mar. 8, 1862. The course at the Academy in 
its early days ran five years, of which the first and last only were 
spent at the school itself, the rest being at sea. This plan not 
proving satisfactory, after four years a revision was made of the 
regulations and a seven-year course adopted, the first and last two 
being at the Academy and the rest at sea. The name of the school 
was also changed. Under this plan the annual cruises were begun. 
After a year under the new arrangement further changes were 
proposed, resulting in the abandonment of the three-year sea duty 
in the middle of the course, practice cruises taking its place. 
This revised plan took effect in 1851. 

These changes in the plan of educating young men for the 
naval service, somewhat overlapping in arrangement, brought to 
the Naval Academy in Mahan's day a number who might not 
otherwise have been present nor have been mentioned in these 
letters. A student of the letters is impressed by the great range 
of persons named — members of the Academic Board and of the 
faculty ; young officers who had finished their course, been to sea, 
and were acting as assistants in instruction; men, called by the 
boys "oldsters," who had been to sea and returned for examina- 
tion and higher rating; men who had failed and been placed in a 
lower class ; men who graduated a year or two after Mahan and 
Ashe entered and were then on ships at distant stations ; the 
regular classmen of their period; men who resigned or were 
dismissed; relatives and friends of the midshipmen; friends of 
Mahan at West Point and elsewhere and civilians of the town 
of Annapolis. All of these Mahan and Ashe knew and some, 
not mentioned in these letters, were known to Ashe, who was at 
the Academy a year before Mahan entered. Dewey, for instance, 



xvi Introduction 

of the class of 1854, was captain of a gun crew of which Ashe 
was second captain, bringing them into close association, while 
Mahan was evidently not in the same crew, as he made no mention 
whatever of Dewey. 

Mahan entered the Academy in 1856, but was admitted to the 
class of 1855 because of exceptional preparation and advancement 
and finished his course in three years. His class, consisting of men 
who graduated at the same time, whether they entered in 1855 
or earlier, numbered twenty. Some, as Ashe, had resigned for 
personal reasons, others had fallen by the way. The men who 
finished the course and became midshipmen in June, 1859, were 
the following: Samuel W. Averett, George Borchert, Walter R. 
Butt, Hilary Cenas, Henry B. Claiborne, Norman Farquhar, Sam- 
uel Dana Greene, Samuel H. Hackett, Wilburn B. Hall, Theo- 
dore F. Kane, Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, Roderick S. McCook, 
A. T. Mahan, Roderick Prentiss, George C. Remey, C. M. Schoon- 
maker, Beatty P. Smith, Thomas S. Spencer, Charles H. Swasey 
and Gilbert C. Wiltse. 

Of these six resigned to go South shortly after the beginning 
of the War between the States and one, who fought on neither 
side, resigned because of Southern sympathies. Of the thirteen 
remaining, three, Swasey, Prentiss, Mackenzie, died in action ; 
one, Greene, committed suicide ; one, Schoonmaker, died when 
his ship was lost; one, Spencer, resigned in 1867; one, Smith, 
failing upon coming up for promotion as commander, was shortly 
after out of the service; one, Kane, was retired in 1897 because of 
ill health ; four remained in the service through life or until retired 
for age, Remey, Farquhar, McCook, Wiltse, but of these only 
two lived to be retired for age, Remey and Farquhar. Mahan 
retired at his own request after forty years' service. Of those 
who went South none lost their lives during the war, but Clai- 
borne died shortly after and Borchert was murdered by a revo- 
lutionary mob in one of the South or Central American countries 
a few years later. In war all of these men gave a good account 



Introduction xvii 

of themselves. Considering their youth and inexperience the hon- 
orable mention made of practically all who fought on either side 
was remarkable. No effort has been made to give the full life 
service of any but Mahan and Ashe, but something concerning 
the war service of all in Mahan's class has been recorded. Identi- 
fication, as, far as possible, of every one mentioned in the letters 
has been made, coupled with a fragment of service or some vital 
incident, which, it is hoped, will not only add to the interest of 
the letters themselves but to their actual value as historical material. 
Of the great number mentioned in this correspondence all are 
believed to have passed to their final account except Ashe. A 
solitary figure of all named here, actors in that grim drama includ- 
ing the most devastating war ever fought on American soil — yet 
playing a major part in the history of his commonwealth, he is 
truly a "Happy Warrior/' battling for personal and civic righteous- 
ness, but maintaining a wholesome philosophy and a gentle serenity 
toward the problems of this complex age, sustained, as he is, by a 
towering faith in the ultimate results in a God-controlled world. 
To you, friend of many years, and to the memory of the great 
Admiral, whom it was not my privilege personally to know, I dedi- 
cate these notes and whatever part I have been able to play in the 
publishing of these letters in tribute to the service rendered to 
history by you both, world-wide in his case, more circumscribed, 
yet of lasting value also, in yours. 

Rosa Pendleton Chiles. 



The Letters 

[October, 1858.] * 
Sunday afternoon. 

The Sergeant has not yet come around, and I cannot avoid 
writing you a few lines more, my own dear friend. The weather 
has changed very suddenly since last night, and a cold north wind 
has set in. My spirits have gone down with the thermometer, 
both on account of the dreary look of things out doors, and also 
from contrasting my position this Sunday afternoon to what 
it would have been were you here. Oh, Sam, I do miss you a 
great deal and I cannot refrain from saying in my letters what 
I would tell you if you were here, unless you tell me it is your 
wish that I do so. 

I have now written a great deal to you since your departure, 
and am entitled, I think, to hear something in return. Every 
day that I go without news from you brings down my spirits 
farther and farther. Even Claiborne 2 shows that he feels your 

Unfortunately, the letter to which this is a mere postscript is lost. 
— R. P. C. 

2 Henry B. Claiborne, of Louisiana, is remembered by Ashe as a fine 
scholar. He graduated with Mahan in 1859 and his first cruise was in the 
U. S. S. Congress with his classmates Mahan, Cenas, Spencer and Wiltse. 
At the outbreak of war in 1861 he went with his native state and served in 
the C. S. Navy, being abroad most of the time, where a number of young 
officers were sent to be placed on ships bought or built and fitted out for the 
Southern Confederacy. In 1864 he was appointed on a board to examine mid- 
shipmen. He was a passenger on the steamship Margaret and Jessie, which 
sailed from Charleston, S. C, for Nassau May 27, 1863. On the 30th this ves- 
sel was chased by a U. S. warship and driven near shore off the island of 
Eleuthera, Bahamas, and fired on after she was in British waters. Claiborne's 
health failed while in Europe and on Feb. 28, 1865, in an official letter, he is 
mentioned as in such infirm health that the long sea voyage and land travel 
necessary before he could reach home would be impossible for him. How- 
ever, he did later return to his home in New Orleans, but died shortly after. 

[1] 



2 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

not writing a great deal. He said to me yesterday, "Ashe must 
be sick, for he could not be so eccentric as not to let us hear from 
him by this time. He ought to have written from Washington." 
Your friends here are all deeply attached to you, Sam, and it is 
very hard for them to be in ignorance of your whereabouts and 
well-being. 

I do not know that anything has happened worth letting you 
know since last night, except that some kind friend distributed 
tracts throughout the rooms while we were in chapel today. The 
reception they met with would certainly have astonished the giver 
had he seen it. Schley 3 held a prayer-meeting over them. Jones 4 
disgusted us extremely by a sermon on Drunkenness this morning. 
By the by, one of these tracts was by a clergyman formerly a 
naval officer. Why don't you turn parson? We would be glad 
to have you in the service on condition of getting drunk at least 
once a week. I believe I would give a year's pay to see Old Sticky 
tight and limber as a rag. 

Goodby a second time, my dearest friend. I have the blues 
about you this evening and cannot write cheerfully. 

Most affectionately, 

A. T. M. 



3 Winfield Scott Schley, of Maryland, was in the class below Mahan and 
Ashe, but both knew him. He was especially liked by the acting midshipmen 
because of his athletic prowess. His service in rescuing- the Greely North 
Polar Expedition and in the Spanish-American War, particularly at the 
Battle of Santiago, are too well known to warrant comment here. Having 
attained the rank of Rear Admiral and retired, he died suddenly on the street 
in New York, in October, 1911. Schley married a niece of Miss Anna 
Franklin, mentioned in these letters. 

* Rev. George Jones was appointed in the Navy in 1833 and died in 1870. 
He was long chaplain at the U. S. Naval Academy and was familiarly re- 
ferred to by the boys as "Slicky" or "Old Slicky." 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 3 

Naval Academy, 
October 23rd, [1858.] 
Dear Sam, 

Are you sick? but you must be. I am sure you would never 
have let us go so long without hearing from you. Hope deferred 
does indeed make the heart sick, as I have fully found this past 
week, as after every breakfast and dinner I would ask the Sergeant 
if there was a letter for me and always received the same discour- 
aging "No." Do let me hear from you as soon as you can write, for 
although I know that you consider it affectation when I tell you 
how neglect from you pains me, T assure you I do feel most deeply 
at present, even though attributing it to illness on your part. 

If, however, you cannot conscientiously say that your silence 
has been unavoidable, it would be better for you to return me my 
letters, and our correspondence can cease. For though I have, 
and do love you so much it were better so, for I would not for 
anything suffer often as I have done this last week. If your 
not writing has proceeded from idleness or thoughtlessness so 
soon after leaving, what can I expect from such a friendship here- 
after? But I will not, and cannot believe that it is so, you are, 
you must be sick. I hope it is nothing serious, and that you will 
soon be well. 

Well, now for something more cheerful. The day after you 
left, Billy was officer of the day as you perhaps know, as Cenas 1 
was when you left. Going round that evening he came into a room 
where there were three fellows. Billy wanted to know who the 
visitor was when the fellow, recollecting his near-sightedness, broke 

1 Hilary Cenas, of Louisiana, graduated with Mahan in June, 1859, and 
was with him in their first cruise, on the U. S. S. Congress. He cast his lot 
with the South in the War between the States and served in the Confederate 
States Navy, principally in Europe. In August, 1864, he is mentioned in 
official dispatches as returning to the Confederacy, with his classmate 
Borchert, in charge of two batches of officers. He was in Richmond when 
it was taken. He died young, in 1877, apparently broken in spirit. 



4 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

and Claiborne could not discover till sometime after. They will 
pick on him because he is little and ugly. 

Hackett 2 and I have quietly stopped speaking. Cenas wrote 
to his uncle the other day and asked him what steps we had best 
take in order to secure sailing together, but we have not yet re- 
ceived an answer. He told Hackett and asked him if his inten- 
tions were still the same, but he said that although he wanted 
much to sail with Claiborne and Cenas his relations with me would 
make it unpleasant. So we may dismiss [it], for according to 
father's advice I shall not speak to him again. Borchert 3 has 
joined us, much to my surprise and gratification, so that we still 
muster strong enough to give us a sleep in. Entre nous, I should 
not be much surprised if we were put in for the Lancaster. 

Hackett is expecting a letter from you. If you write to him 
before me it will be rather binding; indeed, I wish you would 
stop all communication with my enemies, but I will not ask it of 
you, for I know you consider it beneath you and losing your inde- 
pendence to sacrifice one friend for another's sake, even though 
the latter be dearer and grossly wronged. Hackett has wilfully 
misconstrued my language when I warned the crew that I should 
report strictly, and says that it was as much as saying to the 
fourth class in the crew that they were the scum of the first 

a Samuel H. Hackett, of Pennsylvania, was Ashe's roommate while the 
latter was at the Naval Academy. He graduated with Mahan in 1859, but 
at the beginning of the war resigned from the service because of Southern 
sympathies. He lived for a time in North Carolina, then in Virginia, but 
finally returned to Pennsylvania. Ashe was in correspondence with him 
two or three years ago. Because he was a mother's boy Mahan often refers 
to him as "Ding Darling." He died in 1929. 

3 George Borchert, of Georgia, graduated in Mahan's class, but was one 
of the seven members who resigned at the beginning of the war. He served 
in the Confederate States Navy, mainly in Europe. At one time when it was 
suggested that some one be dropped, James D. Bulloch, Confederate States 
agent abroad, specially requested that Borchert be retained. Both Mahan 
and Ashe remembered Borchert with affectionate esteem and were shocked 
by his tragic death. Prior to 1870 he sought service in one of the South or 
Central American countries and was murdered by a revolutionary mob. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 5 

class. So that doing a thing which was right and without doing 
which I would have been entirely wrong is twisted and per- 
verted. But I feel, I said when I heard this, "If they chose to 
be such fools let them and be damned to them." Claiborne is 
getting down on Hackett and I expect soon to see him classed by 
C. as a cross between Farquhar 4 and Swasey, 5 an intriguer 
and weak. He is coming more and more under McCook's 6 
influence, and I should not be surprised if they sailed together. 
Indeed, I should not be surprised if they, with Averett 7 and 

* Norman Farquhar, of Pennsylvania, graduated with Mahan in 1859 and 
remained in the service through life, retiring in 1902. During the war he 
was in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and in November, 1862, he 
was officially credited with destroying salt works, the burning of three 
schooners and a number of scows and boats and with the capture of a 
lighter and twenty-four canoes near Matthews Court House. He was in both 
attacks on Fort Fisher. 

5 Charles Henry Swasey, of Massachusetts, graduated in Mahan's class. 
In April, 1862, he was Executive Officer of the U. S. S. Varuna; in May, 
1862, he had temporary command of the U. S. S. Tennessee; in October, 
1862, while Executive Officer of the gunboat Sciota, he was killed in an 
engagement on the Mississippi River, near Donaldsville. The official report 
of his death carried the following encomium : "This officer was characterized 
by all the elements which make up the hero — brave, imbued with patriotic 
ardor and professional ambition, chavalric as a gentleman, gentle, and with 
a heart full of Christian principles." His last words were, "Tell my mother 
I tried to be a good man." Mahan was one of his pall-bearers. 

6 Roderick S. McCook, of Ohio, entered the Naval Academy in 1854, 
but, as was the case with several others of that year, he did not graduate 
until 1859, in Mahan's class. He remained in the service through life, 
but died in 1886, before he was fifty. During the war he was in the North 
Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He commanded the U. S. S. Old North 
State and later the U. S. S. Stars and Stripes. He was at Wilmington, 
N. C, and assisted in the capture of at least one blockade runner. He 
was of huge frame, great strength and positive characteristics. 

T Samuel W. Averett, of Virginia, was one of the older men in Mahan's 
class, studious and scholarly and a man of such admirable deportment that 
he won the respect of all the students. He graduated with his class in 
1859, but resigned to go with his native State at the outbreak of war. 
In March, 1862, he commanded the Floating Battery New Orleans, Island 
Number 10, Tennessee. In September, 1862, he served on the C. S. S. 
Atlanta and in October, 1862, he was ordered to the C. S. S. Florida. 






6 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Smith, 8 formed a party. Swasey is contemptible in my eyes. I 
was officer of the day on Thursday and took my place near his crew- 
next to Mackenzie's 9 and Farquhar's. It seems to be the worst dis- 
ciplined in the Academy and it is superior to them from no merit in 
the Captain. Talking was unchecked. And he, the man who was 
going to have a good drill, etc. Faugh ! He's not worth his salt. 
Damned grinning ass ! The grad effects of discipline are very 

J. N. Maffitt, commanding the Florida, commended him as "an officer of 
high standing for his period of service." He performed important service 
not only on the Florida but in other capacities. After the war, Averett 
engaged in educational pursuits and established a school near Danville, 
Va., now known as Averett College. He lived to about sixty years of age. 

8 Beatty Pesline Smith, of New York, who graduated in Mahan's class, 
was described by the latter as "barely five feet high." During the war he 
served on the U. S. S. Mackinaw, from which he was detached to command 
the prize steamer Blenheim. Failing of promotion to the rank of com- 
mander in 1874, he was soon after out of the service. He is said to have 
been one of the few who received a good deal of prize money, which 
Mahan thought aided in his financial independence. 

9 Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, of New York, a very young member of 
Mahan's class, is said to have been an admirable student and popular among 
his classmates. He was a son of Alexander Slidell Mackenzie, whose sur- 
name was originally Slidell, a brother of U. S. Senator John Slidell, known 
later especially because of his capture by Capt. Charles Wilkes while on his 
way to Europe as a representative of the Confederacy. Captain Mackenzie 
is known to history because of his having executed on the U. S. sloop 
Somers, which he commanded, Philip Spencer, a youthful midshipman, and 
two others upon suspicion of their planning mutiny. Spencer was a son 
of the Hon. John C. Spencer, Secretary of War under President Tyler. 
Few tragedies in America have created more feeling, and condemnation 
of Captain Mackenzie was general. But this did not militate against young 
Mackenzie at Annapolis. During the war this young officer served in the 
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron as executive officer of the U. S. S. 
Patapsco and was later given command of the U. S. S. Winona. After 
the war, in 1867, he was a member of a punitive expedition sent against 
the savages in the island of Formosa. In the engagement that followed 
Mackenzie was the only member of the expedition killed. Mahan, at the 
time on his way to that station, had looked forward to meeting him. He 
was one of the cabal opposing Mahan at the Academy, but later wrote his 
regrets and Mahan was impressed by his candor. A tablet at Annapolis 
records his death. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 7 

perceptible; our company drill is the best I have ever seen here, 
although we have been at it but a week. Not a man will talk now 
when he sees my eye on him, for he feels a spot coming. 



Claiborne says that he thinks the Lawrence Literary 10 has a 
galloping consumption and will peg out in a year and a half. 
The leading men in the second class rarely attend, being out in 
town with the ladies. The first class alone keeps it up. Remey 11 
has resigned. It is a pity that it should be running to seed so soon. 

One bell has just struck and I fear I must give up my last 
hopes of seeing your letter this week. The Sargeant promised to 
send me in any letter that came tonight instead of making me wait 
till tomorrow morning. I have been so impatient to hear from you 
that I have made the same arrangement with him for three nights 
past. I suppose that I will hardly have to wait another week, and 
that your letter will show me that there is no cause for this being 
my last to you. 

I suppose you have read the accounts of the great fight. Billy 
and Kate 12 have miniature exhibitions up here, the principal part 
of the performance being a great amount of hollowing "Ow, man, 
you're breaking my finger, etc." 

Cenas was caught smoking a day or two since, and has sworn 
off. I wish he had remained on the quarantine list. He says it is 

"The Lawrence Literary Society, named for the naval hero James 
Lawrence. 

11 George C. Remey, of Iowa, was the youngest and smallest of Mahan's 
class. As far as known he outlived all who graduated in 1859 except 
Hackett. He became senior Rear-Admiral, with only Dewey out-rank- 
ing him, and retired about 1903. During the war he engaged in the 
attack on Sullivan's Island in 1862 and in the " bombardment of Battery 
Wagner in 1863 and of Forts Sumter and Gregg. In the night attack on 
Fort Sumter, Sept. 8, 1863, he commanded the Second Division, which, 
landing, was repulsed and Remey taken prisoner. He was imprisoned 
in Richland Jail, Columbia, S. C. Remey died in 1928. 

M Claiborne and Spencer. In a later letter Mahan refers to Spencer 
as "Fan." 



8 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

the first time that he has been fairly nabbed. Carter 13 walked 
in just as he had blown a volley, "Whew!" said he, "what a 
cloud, Mr. Cenas, why can't you stop it? It is a great pity." 
Cenas said that he would follow his advice and did so. Greene 14 
was caught by McGunnegle 15 when officer of the day. 

Mother 16 wrote me a letter a day or so since, sympathizing and 
consoling me for your loss, and said that she hoped you might come 
on next summer if I got leave. This was unsolicited as yet by me, 
and I am keeping the letter to enforce my invitation when I send 
it, that you may see how much she liked you. For I cannot believe, 
Sam, that our love for each other is to be broken, your letter 
must have miscarried or you are sick. Averett said to me when 
you left, "Mahan, you would hardly miss your wife more, would 
you?" "Old man," said I, "if I am to miss my. wife so much, I 
will never get married." And now, dearest, I must stop. And 
lest you think I have been letting my angry feelings and jealousy 
run away with me, I will tell you the oft repeated tale — I love you 
dearly, deeply and sincerely, dear, dear Sam. 

Your most affectionate friend, 

A. T. M. 

P.S. Write as soon as you can. 

13 Samuel P. Carter, Lieutenant and Assistant ; later, Rear- Admiral 
Carter. (See later note.) 

14 Samuel Dana Greene, of Maryland but appointed from Rhode Island, 
graduated with Mahan in 1859. He is well known to history because of his 
commanding the Monitor in her fight with the Merrimac after the wound- 
ing of her commander, Captain Worden. His withdrawing the Monitor into 
shallow water and avoiding a close battle with the Merrimac was the cause 
of much controversy, which is said to have preyed upon his mind and im- 
paired his health, but as he lived more than twenty years longer nothing 
connected with the famous first battle between ironclads can be said to have 
been responsible for his taking his own life, which he did in 1884. Greene 
was highly commended by his superior officers. 

15 Wilson M. McGunnegle, of Wisconsin, Lieutenant and Assistant at 
the Academy when Mahan was there, entered the service in 1845, the year 
the Academy was established. He was with the midshipmen on their prac- 
tice cruises. He died at Annapolis in 1863, with the rank of lieutenant- 
commander. 

16 Mrs. Dennis Hart Mahan. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 9 

Naval Academy, 
Oct. 29th, 1858. 
Dear Sam, 

I received your letter this morning after breakfast and have 
read it already four times, how much oftener I shall do the same 
I do not know. Forgive me for anything unkind in my last, as 
you have so often forgiven similar crookednesses in my disposi- 
tion; as usual I find that I am in the wrong. 

This is Friday evening and notwithstanding the soiree and a 
rule I have laid down to write to you only once a week, I find it 
impossible to keep from it this evening, and excuse myself under 
the plea of having to attend the lecture tomorrow evening. When 
you first left, I wanted to write to you all the time, and now, but 
for the above salutary rule, I would be trespassing on your patience 
two or three times a week. 

So you are at last settling down quietly to your new studies. 
I am so glad that they are to be prosecuted at home, for I think 
it will be far better for you, and I must acknowledge to feeling 
glad that you are not to form new academic associations, though 
I believe that those formed at this place or West Point must be 
far more lasting and deep than those made elsewhere, for here we 
are from every cause brothers, our association, our hopes, our pro- 
fession all the same. And, Sam, don't you read "Charles , Malley ,, 
or the "Irish Dragoon" until your fondness for a naval life has 
been well obliterated from your breast. Just let me quote one scene 
to you. Dramatis Personae : Sir George Dashwood, Lucy Dash- 
wood, and Charles O'Malley, enamored of said Lucy. "So, Mr. 
O'Malley, they tell me you are going to be a lawyer," said Sir 
George. "A lawyer, papa ! or dear me ! I should never have thought 
of his being anything so stupid." "Why silly girl what would you 
have a man be ?" "A dragoon, to be sure, papa," said the fond girl, 
as she passed her arm around his manly figure, and looked up into 
his face with a glance of mingled pride and devotion. Sam, I wish 



10 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

that I had been a Lucy Dashwood when you talked of resigning, 
for I look on lawverising as fully as stupid as she did ; this, how- 
ever, you know well, but I expect that your becoming a member, 
will do much for the law in my eyes. I feel you will miss the 
society of fellows next winter, and I wish I could be with you for 
a short time to cheer you in your work, for I want to see you all 
you have the ability to be in your new career; however, you have 
your mother and sisters, and with your disposition I think they 
will in good measure fill up the void you would otherwise feel ; 
with me, however, I am ashamed to say it, the affection of relatives 
would but increase my ennui ; so far as all but one is concerned, my 
affections will never suffer any rude shock by my naval career, and 
the separations consequent upon it. Remember my parting with 
you is not a result of my profession and the separation consequent 
upon it. I cannot remember the time that I ever cared for two 
persons. 

When I started to write this letter I thought that I could be 
more interesting than I usually am, but it seems as if on the con- 
trary I was getting more stupid. By the bye, I had a lecture on 
morality and religion from Holy Joe 1 this afternoon. Do you 
remember my mentioning the tracts that were distributed last 
Sunday ; well mine was life of Rev'd. John or Joshua Brainerd or 
some such old cove. The next Thursday Farquhar asked Nourse 1 
who Brainerd was and Joe went on to tell him, but I interrupted 
him and said that I had a life of the gentleman in my room that had 
been sent to me last Sunday, which I would be happy to lend to 
him. Saturday. I paid dear for this jest, Joe gave me a 3 for a 
3.5 recitation. Joe said he knew nothing about that, and this after- 
noon he called me into the section room and questioned me about 
it, and wound up by saying that he would be glad if I would 
endeavor to create a serious feeling among the students here. 
I told him that I feared my example was too bad for my precepts 
to produce a very good effect. He then said that he had heard 
1 Joseph E. Nourse, Professor of Ethics. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 11 

there was some talk of getting up a Bible Class, and wanted to 
know if I heard anything about it. I told him no. And then he 
pitched into me about persons who had sat in his section room 
with no serious thoughts and who had now departed from this 
state of being. Imagine me of almost all the class picked out for 
such a discourse, I who, you say, am not a God-fearing man. I 
should not be surprised, however, if I fetched up in the ministry 
one of these days, for Mother often told me before I entered the 
service, that, from the time I was born she had dedicated me to 
God's service, and that it had been the prayer of her life since. 
"The prayer of a righteous man," the Bible says, "availeth much," 
but I hope that in this I may be allowed by Providence to suit 
myself, for a greater horror of anything I could not have than I 
have of that same profession. If I ever do end there, you just 
come to my Church and I will preach to you from the text, "Like- 
wise, ye lawyers" something or other, I forget exactly what now, 
but if you don't catch the devil, I'll be no Boanerges. I told Old 
Joe that those tracts did a great deal of harm on account of the 
ridicule that they excited, for bad as the fellows are usually, they 
are devils so far as religion is concerned when just out of Old 
Slicky's 2 hands. 

***** 

I enjoyed my relief from studies very much, having Charles 
O'Malley by me. How much a book that is really worth reading 
improves on a second perusal. I first read this just a year ago, 
and, looking only to the story to interest me, I was much disap- 
pointed, for the book had been so warmly praised to me. But, 
this time, I knew the story, and as I read I had full leisure to take 
in the perfection of the character-painting from Sir Harry Boyle, 
always making his bulls, to the womanly beauty and enthusiasm 
of character of Lucy Dashwood. Sam, whenever you can feel 
that you are not wronging yourself by taking the time from studies 
do read the book. The overflowing and loving tenderness of the 
2 Chaplain Jones. 



12 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

female, tempting and being subdued in its turn by her womanly 
pride, is portrayed with a power and truthfulness that I have found 
in no other female character in the many novels I have read. The 
Violante of Bulwer seems cold compared to her, and yet you can- 
not say that Violante is more proud than she is. I fairly confess 
that I am in love with her character, would that if there were a 
war I might find one such woman to love myself. 

Sam, take a little advice. Don't gorge yourself with law, 
remember that anything like repletion is extremely disgusting. 
I know your propensities; you could always eat more cake than 
any of us, and I have no doubt that the law will be equally punish- 
ed, but take care, although you may not immediately feel the 
effects of your over indulgence, yet in future times, when I will 
be a hale old Commodore or parson, as the case may be, and you 
will be — God knows what you will have come to by that time — 
you will remember my warnings with tears of sorrow. 

Don't send me any more remembrances to the class ; since my 
last Schoonmaker 3 and Butt 4 have fallen out with me for reports. 
That damned little Butt annoys me a great deal, for he proved a 

3 Cornelius Marius Schoonmaker, of New York, graduated in Mahan's 
class in 1859 and remained in the naval service through life. During the 
war he served in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. He was Executive 
Officer of the U. S. S. Manhattan and in the engagement between the 
Manhattan and Fort Morgan and the ironclad ram Tennessee. Earlier 
in the war he was attached to the U. S. S. Minnesota. He lost his life 
while in command of the U. S. S. Vandalia in the great hurricane at Samoa 
in 1889. 

4 Walter R. Butt, of Virginia, graduated with Mahan in 1859, but re- 
signed in 1861 to cast his lot with the South. He was ordered abroad in 
March, 1863, and remained until late in 1864, when he was ordered back to 
the Confederacy. He was an officer of the C. S. S. Texas. In September, 
1864, he was wounded, but not severely, by a Southern picket. After the 
war he was in the Peruvian Navy, stationed at a yard east of the Andes, 
near the head waters of the Amazon. At Para, in 1872, Mahan met a 
Peruvian captain who had been with him there. Mahan referred to him 
as "the fiddler." He was the musician of the class. He died in 1885. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 13 

tyrant to the 10th crew while he had it temporarily. Spencer 5 
is the only first class man I speak to in the crew. Averett has 
also stopped speaking to me on account of the crew, or rather I 
stopped speaking to him, for seeing him treat me coolly I asked 
him if that were the reason, and, as he said yes, I could not with 
any self-respect continue my intercourse with him. Read 6 follows 
in his wake. As this conduct is not because I report but because 
I report the first class, I feel more contempt than anything else, 
for I am rapidly recovering from my first depression of spirits 
and gaining the philosophy you so strongly recommend. Billy, 
Cenas, and Borchert, God bless them ! stick firmly by me, Borchert 
I feared would be affected by Averett, but his principal remark 
was that he was surprised at Averett and the class was getting as 
bad as the '54 date. 

6 Thomas Starr Spencer, of Pennsylvania, entered the Academy in 1854, 
but graduated with Mahan's class in 1859. He remained in the service 
until 1867, when, on account of disagreement with his captain, he resigned. 
During the war he served in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron as a 
lieutenant on the U. S. S. Lackawanna. He was Mahan's roommate at the 
Academy and sailed with him in their first cruise on the U. S. S. Congress. 
These letters contain numerous criticisms of him, some of which may have 
been justified, but as an evidence that there was no malice in Mahan's 
free comments to Ashe concerning his classmates, many years later he 
wrote Ashe in regard to Spencer: "After you — a very long distance after 
you — I cared more for him than any man in the class." They seldom met 
after that first cruise. "Two years in the same room," Mahan wrote long 
afterwards, "and two in the same mess, and from that day to this I could 
count on one hand the times I have seen him." 

fl Edmund Gaines Read, of Virginia, was in Mahan's class, but graduated 
a year later, in 1860. He resigned in 1861 to go with his native State. 
During the war he developed capacity not shown in school life. He was 
first attached to a battery, but, by order of Secretary Mallory of the Con- 
federates States Navy, was transferred to the Navy. He served on the 
school-ship Patrick Henry, and, later was ordered to London to serve on the 
C. S. ram Stonewall. It is the impression of Ashe that after the war he 
held some position in China, but this has not been confirmed. He is dead, 
but the date of his death has not been found by the editor. 



14 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Excuse an extract from Charles O'Malley and particularly note 
the part marked. I think it most beautiful and there is a melody 
in the very words that soothes me when depressed, softens me 
when excited. (Charles) "Alas, alas, Lucy — Miss Dashwood, I 
would say — forgive me, if I know not the very words I utter — 
has my career fulfilled the promise that gave it birth? For 
you and you only, to gain your affections, to win your heart I 
became a soldier; hardship, danger, even death itself, were courted 
by me supported by the one thought that you had cared for or had 
pitied me, and now — and now". "And now," said she, while her 
eyes beamed upon me with a very flood of tenderness, "is it noth- 
ing that in my woman's heart I have glowed with pride at triumphs 
I could read of but dared not share in? Is it nothing that you 
have lent to my hours of solitude and of musing the fervour of 
that career, the maddening enthusiasm of that glorious path my 
sex has denied me? / have followed you in my thoughts across 
the burning plains of the Peninsular, through the long hours of 
the march in the dreary nights, even to the battle-field. I have 
thought of you, I have dreamed of you, I have prayed for you." 
"Alas, Lucy, but not loved me." The very words as I spoke them 
sank with a despairing cadence on my heart. Her hand which had 
fallen upon mine trembled violently, I pressed my lips upon it, but 
she moved it not. I dared to look up, her head was turned away, 
but her heaving bosom betrayed her emotion. "No, no, Lucy, cried 
I passionately, "I will not deceive myself, I ask more than you can 
give me. Farewell !" Now and for the last time I pressed her hand 
once more to my lips, my hot tears fell fast upon it. I turned to 
go and drew one last look upon her. Our eyes met — I cannot say 
what it was, but in a moment the whole current of my thoughts 
was changed; her look was bent upon me beaming with softness 
and affection, her hand gently pressed my own, and her lips mur- 
mured my name. The door burst open at this moment and Sir 
George Dashwood appeared, Lucy turned one fleeting look on her 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 15 

father and fell fainting in my arms. "God bless you, my boy," 
said the old General as he hurriedly wiped a tear from his eyes, 
"I am now indeed a happy father." Notice the beauty of the 
cadence in the few lines I underscored. 

And now, my dearest friend, I will stop for this evening. T 
am in very good spirits just now, for how much of them I owe 
your letter you may imagine, write to me as often as you can, for 
I love you and love to hear of you. 

Affectionately, ATM 

Dearest Sam, 

Billy has just told me that he intends to write to you in a day 
or two, so I will leave to him the task of giving you an account of 
the lecture, and I have no doubt that he will be more competent 
to do that than I will. I acknowledge to going with an eye open 
to beauty and the ludicrous. 

3£K -J» 3J% ■ Sp 3|E 

As you are so much interested in me I will tell you my stand- 
ing — 1 in Spanish and Gunnery, 3 in Seamanship and Naval 
Tactics, 4 in Poppy, 7 5 in Joe, 8 8 in Chauvenet. 9 Hall, 10 5 in 

7 A nickname given by the boys to William F. Hopkins, Professor of 
Natural and Experimental Philosophy. 

8 Professor Joseph E. Nourse, referred to by the midshipmen as "Joe" 
or "Holy Joe." 

9 William Chauvenet, Professor of Navigation and Nautical Astronomy, 
had been at the Academy fourteen years in Mahan's day. He taught the 
First Class exclusively and Ashe had not received personal instruction from 
him, but he had heard of Ashe's fine record as a student and somewhat of a 
mathematical prodigy, and when he resigned Professor Chauvenet expressed 
sincere regret and said with what pleasure he had looked forward to having 
him in his class. At ninety and in great measure the object of adulation 
through life, Ashe still says that Chauvenet's remarks at that time con- 
stituted the greatest compliment he ever received. All of the students held 
Chauvenet in high esteem. He resigned in 1860 and became Professor of 
Astronomy at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and later Chancellor 
of that institution. He died at St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 13, 1870. 

10 Wilburn B. Hall, of South Carolina but appointed from Louisiana, 



16 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Spanish, 2 Gunnery, 6 seamanship, 7 Naval Tactics, 3 Poppy, 
2 Joe, 1 Chauvenet. My chances for rising good. Hall's poor. 
Sam, Marcy 11 is down on him. Billy, I am sorry to say, is doing 
badly. Wiltse 12 will bilge or no first classman ever will, stands 
near foot in everything — average in Chauv. 1.8. Hackett stands 
low. Cenas is doing pretty well. Remey and McCook coming up. 
They tell me that Craven 13 only lets McCook go out in town every 

graduated in Mahan's class in 1859. He was a hard student and graduated 
at the head of his class. In 1861 he resigned to go with the South in the 
war. He was assigned to the school-ship Patrick Henry to train midship- 
men and was highly commended for this service. He served also on the 
C. S. S. Drewry, but was transferred almost immediately to the C. S. S. 
Virginia No. 2, upon which he had had service before being sent to the 
Drewry. He purchased in New York for the State of Georgia the ship 
Huntress, transferred to the C. S. Navy. After the war Hall was for 
some time in Egypt, tutor to the Khedive's children. Later he engaged in 
educational work in Baltimore and was then appointed U. S. Consul at 
Nice, where Mahan saw him. Subsequently he returned to educational 
work in the United States. He died in 1912. 

11 Samuel Marcy, of New York, Lieutenant and Assistant at the Academy. 
He entered the naval service in 1838 and died in January, 1862. 

13 Gilbert C. Wiltse, of New York, graduated in Mahan's class in 1859. 
He remained in the naval service the rest of his life. During the war he 
served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron on the U. S. S. Montauk, 
the U. S. S. Catskill and the U. S. S. Adger, from which he was detached 
to command the battery at Morris Island. Earlier in the war he was on 
the U. S. S. Congress when she was attacked by the Virginia in Hampton 
Roads. He was described by Mahan as a man of pluck and resolution. He 
took part in the abortive raising of the flag at Hawaii, disavowed by Presi- 
dent Cleveland, and it is said that disappointment and worry hastened his 
end. He died in 1893. 

13 Thomas Tingey Craven, Commandant of Midshipmen at the Academy 
in Mahan's day. He was popular with the boys and commanded the summer 
cruise on the practice ship in 1858. In the war he had command of the 
Naval Flotilla in James River and later commanded the U. S. S. Brooklyn 
in the West Blockading Squadron, taking part in engagements in the 
Mississippi River. He attained the rank of commodore during the war 
and of rear-admiral later. Buried in Geneva, N. Y., in 1929 his remains 
and those of his wife were reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 17 

other week. Carter 14 caught Jim O'Kane 15 smoking this after- 
noon — I may as well say here as due to Hackett, that his professed 
cause for falling out with me is that I showed a want of confidence 
in him by making him report when Second Captain of Crew. 
Had Hackett told me that, when I asked him if there had been 
talking, I would have told him that I had no intention to make 
him report but that I would rely upon his honor to report any 
delinquency not manifestly excusable. It is my own rule, and I 
have a right to expect it of my 2nd Captain. I only deviate from 
it when I see a person getting a great many demerits and there is 
no absolute necessity for a report. Thus I know Spencer was 
reading in ranks today. I did not look at him purposely, for I 
had had already to spot him once in the day, and Borchert had had 
to do the same in the morning for visiting. Hackett did not do 
me the justice to state his complaint, had he done so I would 
have satisfied him that my course was not intended to show, or 
caused by, any distrust of him. But as he has given me no reason 
he goes in with the rest of the crew — "stopped speaking because 
reported." 

I gave Waddell 16 your message this afternoon. He seemed 

14 Samuel P. Carter, of Tennessee, was Lieutenant and Assistant at the 
Academy. He retired in 1881, became rear-admiral on the Retired List 
in 1882 and died in May, 1891. 

15 James O'Kane, of Iowa, was in the class below Mahan's and graduated 
in 1860. He is described by Ashe as intellectual and particularly known 
at the Academy as a mathematician. Ashe being known in the same way, 
their friends would arrange mathematical contests between them. In the 
war O'Kane was attached to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 
serving on the U. S. S. Sangamon. In April, 1865, he was placed in com- 
mand of launches co-operating with the Army in the Santee River. He 
died in 1897. 

"James Iredell Waddell, of North Carolina, was Lieutenant and Assis- 
tant at the Academy. He entered the naval service in 1841. High-spirited, 
when young he fought two duels, one of which left him with a limp the 
rest of his life. He served on the Southern side during the war, being at- 
tached to the Richmond and Charleston stations at different times. Later 
he performed valuable service in Europe. In the spring of 1865 he com- 
manded the famous Confederate cruiser Shenandoah, and, operating in 



18 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

much gratified, asked what you had been doing, etc., and sends 
his regards. Mrs. W. would, no doubt, be glad to do the same. 
I don't know whether you did or not, but you ought to have kissed 
her when you parted. I wanted to hug you myself when you stood 
on the steps looking so forlorn, but, as Billy says, it would have 
broken your heart. I have not yet fully realized that you are gone, 
it seems only as if you were not in my room; if I could feel it 
in its full length and breadth it would almost kill me. I am going 
to study very hard next month and not read more than one novel 
a week. I lay in bed last night, dear Sam, thinking of the gradual 
rise and growth of our friendship. My first visit even to your 
room is vividly before me, and how as I went up from there from 
night to night I could feel my attachment to you growing and see 
your own love for me showing itself more and more every night. 
After all what feeling is more delightful than that of loving and 
being loved, even though it be only man's love for man ? And then 
our visits to Cenas and Claiborne's room, where our dear friend 
Kelley was also present. One night in particular ; it has perhaps 
escaped your recollection, but I remember it as yesterday and 
prize the recollection most dearly. The happiness that I felt that 
night I will never forget. And then a few weeks later, just after 
reconciling the most serious difficulty we ever had, do you remem- 
ber what a pleasant happy evening we passed in Cenas's room ? And 
then succeeded my hospital days, which I then thought the hardest 
but now the happiest of my academic career. Those happy days 
of youthful friendship are now over and we are soon to begin our 
man's fight with a hard world, I before you, but sooner or later we 
must all grapple with it. But, dear Sam, my own dearest and 
warmest friend, although years must change the character of my 

Behring Sea and not hearing for some time of the close of the war, he 
continued hostile movements after the surrender. When news of the end 
reached him he sailed around Cape Horn, and, in August, 1865, delivered 
his vessel to British authorities at Liverpool. Later he commanded a 
steamer plying between San Francisco and China. He died in March, 
1886, at Annapolis, Md. Waddell and Ashe were distant cousins. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 19 

love for you, I think I can promise you that you will ever be first, 
and never less than second, in my heart. I do not think that your 
love for me equals mine for you, for if you [it] did, I think you 
would, like me, recall those little things, nothing in themselves, 
everything as showing affection and regard. But I have schooled 
myself to be content as far as I can with my share, and the knowl- 
edge that I am now your dearest friend. 

I had two letters today from Mother and from an aunt. 
Mother says that if she comes on at all, she will be here on Wednes- 
day, but that she has been having some trouble about servants, 
those pests of northern housekeeping, and hardly expects to come 
on. My aunt says she is sorry to hear that my dear friend Ashe 
has resigned but that if he were seasick she does not wonder at 
it, but she is "sorry that having put his hand to the plough he drew 
back." She suffered much from seasickness herself. 

And now, Sam, I will stop vraiement. If your friends are 
surprised at the length of my letters tell them that an acting mid- 
shipman is too lazy to study, and, not able to read more than two 
novels a week, must write, but be sure you don't believe that 
yourself. Goodbye, dearest, querido, amigo mio, 

Yours affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

P.S. Billy and Cenas send their kindest remembrances. Cenas 
can't discover my secret for having so much time to spare. It is a 
simple one. Make it! 

November 7, 1858. 

My dearest friend : 

I have been very much afraid that I would not be able to write 
to you this week, as most of my spare time has been taken by 
mother who came down as I told you in my last letter she expected 
to. Craven gave me permission to go out whenever I did not have 
to attend drills and recitations so that I have had a very pleasant 
time. 



20 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Mother brought letters to Capt. Blake 1 and Craven from an 
old naval friend of theirs, and in consequence I have had to call 
with her at both their houses. Yesterday I took dinner at the 
Brewers, 2 and had quite a pleasant time there as usual. I told 
Miss Kate and Miss Lucy that you had asked to be remembered 
to them. But the time that I had there was not "a patchin" to 
the pleasant evening that I spent at Captain Craven's. There was 
Miss Nannie 3 whom you know that I admire so much, and besides 
her another young lady whom I think prettier even than she, a 
Miss Adams from Baltimore. You have often heard me express 
my admiration of black hair and eyes. Well this lady is one of 

1 George S. Blake, of Massachusetts, entered the naval service in 1818. 
In 1857, with the rank of captain, he became Superintendent of the U. S. 
Naval Academy, succeeding Capt. L. M. Goldsborough. Known for ability 
and. gentleness, he held the respect and esteem of the entire student body. 
When war began he remained superintendent, with additional duties. He 
suggested Fort Adams, Newport, R. I., as a suitable place for the mid- 
shipmen during hostilities and they were removed, the school being con- 
ducted at Newport until after the war. In 1862 it was suggested that he 
be succeeded, but the Secretary of the Navy objected and he continued as 
head of the Academy with the title of superintendent and president. He 
attained the rank of commodore in July, 1862. It is interesting to note 
that in May, 1862, he sent congratulations to Rear Admiral L. M. Golds- 
borough upon not having been drawn by the Merrimac into a channel 
and exposed to land batteries as well as to her ram. Commodore Blake 
died in June, 1871. His son, Frank Blake, later a banker in London, Eng- 
land, had been at school with Ashe in the Rugby Academy, Washington, 
D. C, before Ashe was at Annapolis. 

'The Brewers were an old Annapolis family. Two sons fought in the 
Confederate Army, and one, I believe, was killed in the Second Battle of 
Manassas. The other, fighting in the same battle, was on the staff of 
General Pender, to which Ashe was attached. Ashe says that Brewer, 
when in battle, ate onions, saying that they steadied his nerves. Miss Kate 
and Miss Lucy Brewer were of this family. 

3 Miss Nannie Craven was a daughter of Capt. Thomas Tingey Craven, 
at this time Commandant of Midshipmen. Mahan's admiration of her is 
evidenced in these letters. Some years later she married Mr. Frederick 
Barnard, of Pittsford, N. Y. She reared a large family and died in 1915. 
One of her granddaughters is the wife of Professor Allan Westcott, of 
the Department of English in the U. S. Naval Academy at the present time. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 21 

the very few that I have ever seen who possesses these in connec- 
tion with a clear marble complexion which sets them off so much 
by the force of contrast. Mother having a long conversation with 
the old gentleman, I was thrown upon my own resources to make 
myself agreeable to two very pretty young ladies, a lot that does 
not often fall to an acting midshipman, most of them considering 
themselves fortunate in getting by one; considering how little I 
care for ladies' society I was in great despair for a minute, but I 
collected myself and came to the conclusion in the course of a few 
minutes that I had as much talk in me as any one and more than 
most persons, when I feel in the humor. Such a state of things 
was too great to last and Miss Nannie sent for some other mid- 
shipmen for Miss Adams' benefit, and when they came I left 
to them in great measure the task of talking, and I flatter myself 
I succeeded better than they, It is a great pity that I cannot take 
more interest in society than I do, for I always enjoy myself 
when I mingle in it, but then a week elapses before I can go again 
and by that time my recollections of the pleasure that I enjoyed 
have faded into a vague dread of the women, and so I go. I will 
have to stop this for a few minutes, to take an article of female 
attire — God knows what they call it — over to Miss Craven, she 
having lent it to mother last night as she was going home. It's 
a sort of a jumper I think. 

I have some idea of going over to see Miss Adams this even- 
ing, for I acknowledge that I am quite taken in that quarter, and 
although they say she is a great flirt she can hardly make a very 
serious impression on me before she leaves day after to-morrow. 
Tom Dornin is dead struck and afforded me great amusement last 
night, in one way or another, and judging from my own observa- 
tions I think she rather likes to draw as many as possible in her 
train, so that, even if not liked, my coming will be welcomed as 
another admirer. What an abominable habit it is, by the way, of 
bowing to a lady, when you leave or meet her and not shaking 
hands. When I graduate I am going to make it a point always to 



22 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

kiss a lady's hand, I have a great mind to begin to-night by the 
way. I have heard that it is the custom on the continent of 
Europe and it is certainly a beautiful one. I advanced my hand 
last night to Miss Adams as I took my leave and although she 
had started to bow she accepted it. By the way, Cenas gave her 
that odd anchor of mine which you may perhaps remember as 
one of a pair I wore during my first year here. I said to her as 
soon as we were fairly started in conversation, "Mr. Cenas gave 
you that anchor did he not?" She wanted to know how I knew 
it and when I told her, she did me the honor to say that she would 
prize it all the more on that account, for which interesting com- 
munication I expressed my most profound gratitude. Indeed it 
was that remark, showing the girl's character, that determined me 
to go and see her this evening, according to two or three invita- 
tions that she gave me yesternight. I am such a damned ass as to 
believe that I could be agreeable to her although she is accus- 
tomed to see young men and I am not to young ladies, especially 
handsome ones. 

Sam, I am afraid I have made myself very stupid this morn- 
ing, talking as if you knew Miss Adams & knew all about the 
evening I had spent, &c. One event may interest you perhaps. 
Some of the fellows started to serenade them, and the young 
ladies actually pelted them with apples — such apples, too — large 
and hard, regular young round-shot. I really believe that if any 
one had been hit by one of them it would have disabled him, given 
him a black eye or something of the sort. You ought to have 
heard old Tom Craven's remarks on the subject, as to the different 
significations of the different ways of throwing apples, he said 
that the way they threw them then signified something like "leave 
if you please." It was regular pitch, the way a girl throws when 
she means to hit and the shot to tell. 

You must not, my dear friend, fear that you make your letters 
unpleasant by speaking of yourself — your hopes your pursuits 
and your interests. Who or what is there near you that interests 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 23 

me excepting yourself and what concerns you? I think that the 
more egotism there is in a letter from a dear friend to whom you 
are really attached the more pleasure does it give you, and it is 
on this account that I hope my letter may not be as stupid as I 
feared, although more about a young lady than myself. As to 
writing to, Billy & Cenas, I guess I will manage to stand that 
if you write to me as you said you would three times a month. 
I will try to let you hear regularly from me until I go to sea and 
then I will write to you once only from each port, unless it be a 
winter station. As it is, I think that page for page you will be 
largely in my debt at the end of the account. However, I know the 
difficulties of your position, that I know none of the actors in the 
scenes about you, but remember, as I said before, anything about 
you will always interest me. 

Billy I suppose told you about Dr. Pinkney's 4 lecture. It was 
really a very happy effort, and I found my precaution of getting 
a seat by the door altogether useless. He quite carried me away 
with him. If you had heard it I think you would hardly have re- 
signed; just think, suppose we had been Nelson 5 and Colling- 
wood 5 one of these days. Dr. Pinkney's mother has died since 
the lecture and was buried yesterday, just a week after the lecture. 
The Misses Brewer wanted to go but had no one to take them. 
I wish I had known it. The members of the second class are 
very negligent in their attendance at the meetings. Dornin, 6 

* Probably Dr. Ninian Pinkney, surgeon in the Navy, who about this time 
was stationed at a hospital in Norfolk, Va., and may well have come to 
Annapolis to make an address, especially as he was a Maryland man and 
most likely at his home at the time, owing to the illness of his mother, 
who died a week later. He had shortly before been surgeon at the Academy. 

6 Mahan evidently had in mind not only the distinguished careers but 
also the historic association and friendship of Lord Nelson and Lord Col- 
lingwood, and conjured up thoughts of Ashe and himself becoming great 
in the service while their old comradeship continued — if Ashe had only 
remained. 

6 Thomas Lardner Dornin, of Virginia, was not in Mahan's class. They 
both entered the Academy in 1856, but Mahan, being advanced, took his 



24 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Harrison 7 and Watson 8 are rarely there, especially Harrison, and 
Dornin not at all, since he fell in love with Miss Adams. At least 
that is my impression. They were all at Craven's last night. 

Lockwood 9 divided us into companies yesterday for battalion 
drills, I have the six footers in the flank companies and Billy & 
Cenas have the little lads in the centre. We are going to have 
colors this year and swords have been provided for the second cap- 
tains, so all will have quite a turnout. Prentiss 10 is color bearer, 

place in the class that entered in 1855. Dornin graduated in 1860. At 
the beginning of the war he went with his native State. In the defence of 
Fort Fisher he aided as a volunteer and his conduct won the highest praise. 
It is said that his officer-like bearing was remarked by all present. He was 
slightly wounded in the foot at the bursting of the first gun in the action of 
December 25. He died in 1898. 

T Thomas Locke Harrison, of Virginia, graduated in 1860, having entered 
the Academy in 1856. He resigned at the beginning of the war. He was on 
battery service in the Army early in the struggle, but was soon transferred 
to the Navy and served as Executive Officer of the C. S. S. Morgan and 
the C. S. S. Nashville and received high praise from his commanding offi- 
cers. He died in 1892. 

8 John Crittenden Watson, of Kentucky, entered the Academy in 1856 and 
graduated in 1860. In the war he served for a time on the U. S. frigate 
Sabine in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In the West Gulf 
Blockading Squadron he was master of the Flagship Hartford and in action 
in the Mississippi River. He received praise from his superior officers 
and Farragut named him as his friend. He requested the transfer of 
Mackenzie, of Mahan's class, and Farragut asked for the transfer as a favor 
to both. Farragut appointed Watson Flag Lieutenant. He died in 1923. 

9 Henry H. Lockwood, of Delaware, graduated from West Point in 
1836, but resigned from the Army the following year. In 1841 he became 
a professor in the U. S. Naval Academy and performed a variety of ser- 
vices, first as Professor of Mathematics, then of Mechanics, later of Gun- 
nery and in Mahan's day was Professor of Artillery and Infantry Tactics. 
He was in active war service in the Army during the war, but returned 
to the Academy when hostilities were over and became Professor of 
Natural and Experimental Philosophy, to which chair he had been appointed 
before Mahan left Annapolis. In 1871 he became Supernumerary Professor. 
Later he was at the Naval Observatory, Washington, D. C, until he 
retired, in 1876. 

10 Roderick Prentiss, of Indiana, entered the Academy in 1854, but gradu- 
ated in Mahan's class, in 1859. He was with Farragut as First Lieutenant 
of the U. S. S. Monongahela. At the entrance to Mobile Bay in 1864 he 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 25 

the office which should be filled by the finest looking midshipman 
in the Academy. I should like to see Hackett in for it but I fear 
he would not fancy it, still I think other choice than that slovenly, 
insignificant-looking Prentiss might have been made. Spencer 
has such excellent sight that they have made him a general guide. 
Three bells have just struck and as I will have to be with 
Mother during most of the day I must close here. God bless you, 
my dear friend ! 

Yrs. most affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
Nov. 12th, 1858. 
Dear Sam, 

I am going to write to you this evening for fear that I may 
not have time tomorrow, as I will have to pay a good many visits, 
that is for me, and for the time that we have. The fact is I am 
quite bewildered, the great difficulty being how I am to go to 
Holland's, spend the evening, and part of the afternoon at Simp- 
son's, 1 and also call at the Brewers', Carter's, 2 Capt. Blake's, and 
Capt. Craven's. Unlucky me ! Miss Adams seems to have taken 
quite a liking to me, as I have to her. She told Dornin she would 
like to stay here for some time to flirt with Cenas. However, I 
find her flirting with me, if so be she is it's a very pleasant pastime. 
I only wish I could think Miss Nannie Craven liked me half as 
much as the other. I could love her, but I rather think she dis- 
likes me, although she told mother and me separately that she 
wanted me to come over there. I have such an infernal dread 

was badly wounded in both legs, one requiring amputation. He died the 
following day. It is said he went into action oppressed by the presentiment 
of death. Though young he was married. Mahan had gone as a passenger 
on the same transport with him to New Orleans and had applied for service 
on the same ship. 

1 Home of Lieut. Edward Simpson. 

3 Home of Lieut. Samuel P. Carter. 



26 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

of being very disagreeable and withal unconscious of it, as I 
have seen some poor devils be, that it prevents me from entering 
into and enjoying society as I otherwise should. 

Your letter was handed to me yesterday morning just as I 
was reading one of your old ones, for I felt that I should like 
to hear from you just then, and, not expecting it, I concluded 
to read the "old news." I am very glad to hear that my letters 
give you more pleasure than yours give me, for if so they must 
be indeed welcome. I will, my dearest friend, write just such 
letters to you whenever I get the chance and feel in the humor, 
for you know that a letter written without spirit must be a dull 
sort of an affair at best. But when I feel like it I can, I believe, 
write quite a fair letter. By the way, I think you have a great 
natural gift that way. Why not cultivate it ? Your letters are all 
excellent, but bear evident marks of hurry and carelessness. 3 Now, 
I prefer to get letters of that sort myself, it shows that there is 
no form in it but comes right from the heart, and that you are 
really talking to me ; as I said once to a young lady, "I don't like 
a letter that has no erasures in it." If you will let me mention one 
fault, the only one of importance in your letters, you too fre- 
quently make your sentences too long and involved, parenthetical, 
you will hardly believe, but some of them are over half a page in 
length, and in one instance between a principal and dependent 
clause you had no less than three parentheses. But I fear I am 
encroaching too far on your patience, and don't try to improve 
on your letters to me, I would rather be able to trace in them, as 
I do now, the natural impulses of a warm, loving heart than have 
the finest style in the world without it. 

There is a Bible Society or class here. Slicky announced it in 
Chapel last Sunday to my great dismay and embarrassment, for 
Mother was there and I could not keep from laughing. I tried to 
organize an opposition society to be called "The Grand Anti- 

3 This would not apply now. Ashe is one of the most brilliant and 
delightful of letter writers. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 27 

Biblical Corruption Society" and to get Dunker Ames 4 to draw- 
up the prospectus, but he said no, that he had ordered the 
"Pelicans" not to attend, and that was all he could do. You are 
too sensible to suspect me of intending to join, but the character 
of such men as Carter and Simpson, 5 who are taking a hand in 
it, does more to restrain me from ridiculing it than all beside. 
Poor Jim O'Kane ! Hackett asked him whether he was one of those 
who went to see Slicky about it, which quite capsized Jim's fea- 
tures, although in the sanctuary. By the bye, Jim has just un- 
shipped that arm of his again. I told Miss Nannie Craven when 
speaking of it that if she would take the first section that I would 
join, but on no other account. Joe Nourse will now have a chance. 
Spencer thinks of joining, so does Hall, and I believe Swasey. 
Claiborne would but he could not help laughing if he did. 

Mother had a long conversation with Tom Craven about me, 
and asked him how he had been pleased with me on the ship. 
He did not say, "very well," as a person would do who did not 
think much of it, but he said he was "exceedingly pleased." And 
he said, moreover, that he was greatly gratified at the course I 
had been pursuing here this year. Now, as all this was uncalled 
for, unless he really felt it, you may imagine how much pleasure 
it gave me. Your opinion of Craven is different from mine, but 
I know you will rejoice with me in my having obtained the appro- 
bation of a man whose good opinion and whose private and official 
character I respect so highly. I have thought a good deal recently 
of his bluntness of speech, and I cannot blame him as some do; 
nor do I think the things alleged against him at all compensate for 
the numerous noble and warm feelings that we all, (yes, you too) 
know him to possess. 

4 Sullivan Dorr Ames, of Rhode Island, was in the class below Mahan's, 
graduating in 1860. He was apparently called "Dunker." He remained 
in the service through life, dying in 1880. 

5 Edward Simpson, Lieutenant and Assistant at the Academy, later 
Commodore Simpson. 



28 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

I am to go with Miss Lucy Brewer next Saturday afternoon 
to pay some visits in town, so that I am in a fair way to increase my 
circle of acquaintances. By the way, please ask to be remembered 
to Waddell occasionally, it really seemed to give him great pleas- 
ure, and in speaking of one of your letters the other day at the 
staff table, I wanted to be able to tell him you had asked to be 
remembered. Ford has been asked to deliver a lecture before 
the Society, and I suppose will accept. Capt. Blake told me yester- 
day that he was a very highly educated man, so I suppose his 
address will be a good one. I think the Society is in a bad way. 
Dornin, Watson and Harrison never attend and they cannot be 
fined, I believe, because they're never present to give in their 
excuses. The ladies run off with them, and I expect they will re- 
sign next year when they can get permission to visit town at 
night. I am afraid Mother's wish for me to visit the girls will 
rather knock the studies wild, which will not suit Father. I liked 
to have burst my sides laughing last night at Billy breaking Kane's 6 
cane over his shoulders, greatly to his disgust, for he was on his 
way to town to see the Senoritas. Billy though it was a very good 
joke. At Carter's yesterday they had some dough-nuts for the 
midshipmen which were filled with cotton. Spencer chewed away 
on one for a long time before he discovered the cheat. Poor 
Blondy ! 7 

Goodby again, dearest, 

Yours affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

"Theodore F. Kane, of the District of Columbia but appointed from 
New York, graduated in Mahan's class, in 1859. He had been a schoolmate 
of Ashe's in Washington before they went to Annapolis. During the war 
Kane, commanding the U. S. yacht America, was sent on a ten-day search 
for the C. S. bark Tacony, but was unsuccessful. He remained in active 
service, but, owing to ill health, he was retired in 1896, with the rank of 
captain. In the Spanish-American War he was assigned to administrative 
shore duty, but was not strong enough to continue long in exacting war 
work. He died in 1908. He was of the family of Kane, the Arctic explorer. 

7 One of several nicknames by which Mahan's roommate Spencer was 
known. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 29 

Naval Academy, 
Nov. 21st, 1858. 
My dearest friend : 

I feel as if I were neglecting your just claims, even in putting 
off writing to you from Saturday night to Sunday morning, as 
I have been doing for the last two or three weeks ; but the fancy 
for ladies' society that has so lately and so suddenly seized me 
must plead as my excuse. I am hardly, however, entitled to the 
name of ladies' man, for it is generally a fancy for one particular 
one that causes me to visit the rest, and at present that particular 
one inhabits the house of the Commandant of Midshipmen. I 
hardly know what to think of my prospects there, for at times she 
treats me almost rudely, and then again she shows me such kind 
and even marked preference that, for the moment, I think I have 
succeeded in making myself liked very much, and on the whole 
I am in a state of suspense. For instance, when I went there 
last night, there were several there already, and Miss Nannie, who 
had a seat near me, changed it soon after I came in, but in a very 
natural manner, so that there was really nothing in it, but I felt 
vexed and flushed up I know from the tingling of my cheeks. 
She unfortunately noticed it, I think, and tried to make it pass 
off with me, in which she readily succeeded, as you may imagine, 
for I felt I was a fool in letting it affect me as I did. Throughout 
the evening, however, she paid less attention to me than I had 
hoped she would, still I was honored by her with writing on the 
same book as herself in a game they had instituted, which rather 
(to use an expression of Jim O'Kane's) "stuck in the craw" of 
E. G. Read, who was on the other side of her and who had been 
manoeuvering to keep me from getting along side of her at all 
in the evening (I hope you are not laughing at the minuteness of 
these details, for I am giving them all their due weight in my own 
mind). When I got up to take my leave with the rest I was 
about third or fourth to shake hands with her, and to those who 
preceded and followed me she said nothing, but when I came up 



30 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

she held out her hand and said, "Mr. Mahan, come over and see 
me some time during the week ; if you could go every evening to 
see Miss Adams, you might at least come and see Miss Nannie 
once or twice!' "D — Miss Adams," thought I, but I said, "Miss 
Nannie, I was just about to ask you when I could come in the 
evening without finding you at tea, which is the only thing that 
has prevented my coming before." She then told me their tea 
hour, etc., and as you may suppose I shall not be slack to accept 
the invitation. The most significant thing in this was that I was 
the only one that she gave a special invitation to, and although 
she afterwards extended it generally to all, it was evidently only 
second thought. Well, now, Sam, what do you think of my 
chances ? Do not mention this in your letters, for I am in earnest, 
and will now tell you my present plans, lest you may think I am 
so foolish as to want to fall in love while a midshipman, with 
a person almost as old as myself. , . . My younger sister, who 
would now be about fifteen, is dead, and the only cousin I ever 
had, dead also. So, as you see, I have nothing to fill that place 
which every man should have filled, and Miss Nannie Craven is 
one who if she could take that interest in me I would like more 
than any I have met to make — a sister of. There is but one 
other who could have taken this place, but owing to my having 
been in love with her and its being an understanding between us 
that we were in love, though both had too good sense to make- 
an engagement of it, I hardly think she will consent to write to 
me or ever again be more than an acquaintance. Nor had she 
what I so much admire in Nannie Craven — a determined way of 
speaking and acting that makes you feel that girl will allow no 
trifling with her; she is so entirely free from the foolishness of 
her sex, and yet so perfectly feminine that if I did not love I 
must respect her more highly than the generality of them. Well 
now, after this prelude, I will tell you what I intend to do as 
soon as I have become more intimate and am able to decide whether 
she likes me very much or not; if my decision is favorable I am 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 31 

going in the most honest and open manner in the world to tell 
her that as she has no brother and I no sister of our own ages 
that I want us to be so to each other. It is not every girl that 
I would say so to, for there are few who would take it as meant — 
a respectful, perfectly respectful, but serious wish to be what 
I asked. Some would — up, some laugh it off, but she is too 
true, too womanly, and too conscious of her power of com- 
manding respect to regard it as an insult, or to laugh at me for it. 
If she likes me enough she will say "Yes." If not, she will say 
"No," and neither of us will like the other the less for it. 

How very tiresome this rigmarole must have been to you, my 
dear Sam. I am too inconsiderate to be thus forcing my own 
plans and schemes upon your notice. However, excuse me; do 
better next time ! 

I paid three visits yesterday afternoon with Miss Kate and 
not Miss Lucy Brewer, the latter having been suddenly obliged 
to leave town. Among other places I called at Mrs. Waddell's, 1 
whose acquaintance I was glad to make on your account. She 
spoke very kindly of you, and asked me to remember her kindly 
to you when I wrote, which I of course promised to do. We called 
also upon Miss Julia Kent, 2 but unfortunately she was unwell. I 
was anxious to see her too, as I have heard so much of her. Jim 
O'Kane visits out there. Jim is a mighty nice fellow. He said 
to me last night that he hoped the man that had the first crew next 
year would have the pluck to do just what I had done, but said 
(all this of his own accord) that it must be unpleasant to fall out 
with so many of your class. I told him how it was, as I now only 
speak to nine out of the nineteen beside myself. 

1 Mrs. James Iredell Waddell. 

3 Miss Julia Kent belonged to a family whose name is said to have 
been associated with Kent Island. This famous island, the largest in Chesa- 
peake Bay, is fifteen miles long and situated seven miles east of Annapolis. 
Here the first settlement in Maryland was made by William Claiborne. 
She was descended from Col. Thomas Contee. She married Dr. Henry 
Roland Walton. Ashe recalls her popularity among the midshipmen. 



32 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Did Billy tell you in his last of the contemplated change in 
fencing? The first and second classes to be instructed in it in- 
stead of the third and fourth. Old Tom Craven says that it will 
not do to be giving lessons to those, so many of whom will probably 
not graduate. Copat 3 is required to send in a monthly report of 
progress in the department, and Simpson told me last night that 
when the sheet came in to the Commandant of Midshipmen it was 
about three feet long. Old Tom says that will never do in the 
world. 

I saw in the Sun that your Lieutenant Boudinot 4 has resigned. 
God bless him! Haven't you got some more uxorious North 
Carolinians down there who might be prevailed on to leave the 
service and remain quietly moored at home under the lee of their 
wives' petticoats? Truly did old Earl St. Vincent say that when 
a man married he was damned for the service, ergo, I shall never 
marry Q. E. D. Corollary. . . . 

P.S. Good sermon. Old Jones 5 was most delightfully and suc- 
cessfully stupid today. Text "God is love," but drawled out as 
he usually gives it, and, intermingled with snuffles, it gave me a 
most unlovely idea of religion generally. And then in some 
strange way he connects the idea of love to God with centripetal 
and centrifugal force, which is peculiarly unfortunate in my case, 
as it invariably brings to my mind an anecdote in Irving's "Knick- 
erbockers New York." A certain professor illustrated the mutual 
effect of these forces to his students by whirling a bucket of water 
round his head, which represented the sun. and the water's centrif- 
ugal force caused by the rapid revolution of the water, which 
kept it from falling on his head, was balanced by the bottom of 
the bucket, which now represented the centripetal. And being 

3 Doubtless meant for Coppa. Angelo Coppa was teacher of the Art 
of Self-Defense. Some one has said that he was fencing master to the 
Academy and dancing master to the town, but the last has not been 
corroborated. 

4 W. E. Boudinot entered the naval service in 1836 and resigned in 1858. 
6 Chaplain George Jones. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 33 

informed that if the earth were stopped in its revolution round 
the sun it would infallibly fall into it, one of his pupils, desirous of 
seeing if the analogy held good, interposed his arm to the pro- 
fessor's, whereupon the water descended on the good man's head, 
to the infinite delight of the scholars and the keen disgust 
of the professor at the practical exemplification of his theory. 

Do you know, Sam, I have a horror of growing old, so that I 
am afraid I will some day be ridiculously sensitive on the subject. 
I even now regret in perspective the loss of that youth which is yet 
hardly beginning with me. These lines that I came across the other 
day in Moore will give you my feeling exactly : 

"Ne'er tell me of glories serenely adorning 

The close of our day, the calm eve of our night. 
Give me back, give me back the mild freshness of morning. 
Its clouds and its tears are worth evening's best light." 

I do not know whether you have ever read "The Caxtons." 
If you have you probably remember the character of Sir Sedley 
Beaudesert, who in this respect and in laziness greatly resembled 
me. I wish I were the polished gentleman that he was. 

We had such a hearty laugh at Jim O'Kane the other day. 
Talking of the practice ship Jim said, "Well, I had two quarts 
of dried raspberries that I thought the world of, and being very 
sick one day I got them out of my locker and put them on the 
table to eat some of them when along came Robeson, 6 made a 
swoop at them and upset them all over the deck except a few 
that remained on the table and then, instead of apologising, he 
ate up those that were left on the table, making mouths at me all 
the time." You may imagine the explosion that greeted these last 
words. I thought I should collapse. As Spencer would say, such 
an aggravated case of rubbing it in has rarely come to my notice. 

Simpson made the privates in the first class fire yesterday 

8 Henry Bellows Robeson entered the Academy in 1856 and graduated 
in 1860, a year after Mahan. He retired in 1899 and died in 1914, with 
the rank of rear-admiral. 



34 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

at the target. Notwithstanding old Gil's 7 cock-eyedness he made 
the best shot. Tom Fister s said, "Well, you see he pointed the 
gun at that point over there," but as that rather supposed the 
gun to be cock-eyed than old Gil, the solution was rejected. Speak- 
ing of him last night at Simpson's, I said he had a slight cast in 
his eyes. Simpson said "Slight! I should call it quite a con- 
siderable one." I met him yesterday afternoon at the Gover- 
nor's house when I was there with Miss Kate. In my present 
relations with my class, it has become necessary for me to con- 
sider what my course should be toward those whom I do not 
speak to when I meet them in society, and so I have come to the 
conclusion always to speak to them. I wish I could tell Miss 
Nannie Craven of those damned fools. Read and I talk almost 
as if we had never had any trouble. I handed him cake yesterday 
evening at Craven's and, when taking it round a second time, he 
asked me to pass it to him. I believe he intended last Saturday 
at Simpson's to make advances toward a reconciliation, but of 
course I took no notice of them. He seems smitten with Miss 
Nannie, but he will be sorry if he tries to trifle with her as the 
Virginia girls he used to tell me of allowed him to trifle with them, 
or else I am most damnably sold and mistaken in Miss Nannie, 
God bless her ! I bet she thinks I am right in reporting the first 
class. By the bye, Mother was escorted home by old Stud-horse, 9 
and he showed her a great deal of attention, and quite won her 
heart by starting a conversation about me, and saying that my 
course here was so much admired by Captain Blake and Craven 
and indeed all the officers. Praising their children and showing 
a gentlemanly attention to their comforts makes long strides into 

'Gilbert C. Wiltse. 

8 Thomas D. Fister, of Pennsylvania, entered the Academy in 1855. 
He was dismissed, with others, in connection with the Foote tarring-and- 
feathering incident, mentioned later. Though reinstated he resigned before 
graduation to become a lieutenant in the Revenue Service. He is referred 
to by Mahan as Tom or as Dan Fister. 

9 Stud-Horse refers to Lieut. Charles H. Cushman. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 35 

a lady's favor. Besides Cushman 10 has in his address a manliness 
and determination that is very taking with all our family, the 
ladies like it in men and the men in ladies ; it runs in the family. 
Do you know, Sam, I have one relative of every sort — one father, 
one mother, one aunt, one uncle, and one grandmother, and yet in 
the pride of my heart I think each of them equal to three ordinary 
relatives of the same sort. Certainly for talent and character 
they are far above the ordinary run of mankind that I have usually 
met, and are very much liked even by young people, which is 
rather singular in persons so advanced in life. I must say I am 
anxious to show them to you and that is an additional reason for 
having you home with me next summer, and I am mistaken if 
you do not find that although there are no young persons, especially 
ladies, in the house, that you will enjoy yourself. I won't talk 
any more about them, for I feel how proud I am of them, and I 
fear being tedious, as I expect I have been already. 

I have two or three letters to write this afternoon, dear Sam, 
and so must stop here. I am afraid that I have been very stupid 
talking so much of my own affairs, however, excuse me, and if it 
has not been stupid, tell me so, for it will be a consolation to me 
to hear it. 

Good-bye again. Querido ameyo mio. £ 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 
P.S. Remember not to mention my fraternal projects. 

"Charles H. Cushman entered the naval service in 1849. In Mahan's 
day he was Lieutenant and Assistant at the Naval Academy. He had been 
Assistant Professor of Mathematics and probably was still. In the war he 
commanded the U. S. S. Montauk in the attack upon Morris Island and 
Fort Wagner, S. C, in July, 1863, and the U. S. S. Onandago in the en- 
counter between the Confederate battery at Howlett's and the U. S. S. 
squadron in James River in June, 1864. In January, 1865, he commanded 
the assaulting party from the U. S. S. Wabash at Fort Fisher and was 
severely wounded. He retired in 1877, with the rank of commander, and 
died in 1883. 



36 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Naval Academy, 
Nov. 28th, 1858. 
My dear Sam: 

I have a great mind not to write to you today as I have not 
had a letter in more than two weeks, and if it were not that I am 
officer of the day I do not think that I should spare the time from 
Chauvenet's lunas, but as I am so unfortunate as to miss one of 
old Jones's sermons, I can devote that time to that other object 
of my affection. Old Chauvy had us taking lunas the other 
day, and as it is necessary to get your observations within 10" 
of an arc for any accuracy and the nearest I got was about 4', 
I fear the result will not be very accurate unless the errors by 
some strange fatality balance each other. I am miserably low in 
standing this month but am going to try to pull up next ; you 
remember how it was last year. Hall has been putting in some 
big licks, but I shall try and shake some of them in their shoes 
this next month. By way of an extra incentive I tried to induce 
Jim O'Kane to take me up on a bet that I would not stand lower 
than three in anything next month, but he would not do it. 

My sudden attachment to Miss Nannie C. lasted plumb up to 
last night at half-past seven when I saw another young lady whose 
attractions being called negative (not meaning any disparagement 
to them but simply to show that the effect was in an opposite direc- 
tion) and Miss Nannie's positive, and two combined like opposite 
and equal electricities and -f- and — gave O ; so you see I am 
now once more heart whole. But I fear that a skillful combina- 
tion of the two electricities alone will keep my nervous system 
from being shaken by preponderance of either. The lady to whom 
this beneficial change is due you have heard of, but do not, I 
think, know; it was Miss Gill, 1 not Miss Anne but Miss Mary 

1 The Gills were connections, of the Pinkneys, distinguished in Maryland 
history. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 37 

Esther; she is certainly one of the most self-possessed, pleasant 
ladies I have met. How fortunate is my disposition with regard 
to ladies. 

"Variable as the shade 
By the light quivering aspen made." 

An absence of a week or two or two hours with a new face seems 
to completely change the whole current of my thoughts. I do 
indeed long for a sister whenever I see a girl I like much; it is 
strange how strongly this feeling has taken possession of me 
in late years. And how insensible some brothers seem to be to 
the advantage of having such relation ; one such as my ideal of a 
sister would be of more real good to me in the reckless scenes 
of dissipation that I expect to pass through than anything else 
I can imagine. Religion, I think, will never be a stay to me, 
for my feelings are more than indifferent, they are bitter in regard 
to that. 2 From my seat in the office I see the Sunday-school 
scholars going to the Lyceum and I laugh ; Joe Nourse and Johnny 
Coffin 3 have each taken a class, but, as I told Miss Nannie Craven, 
Joe Nourse and Slickey are not sufficiently attractive forms of 
religion to induce me to embrace it (or them either for that 
matter). I think that if she would take a class, the form of reli- 
gion would be much more embraceable. The system pursued up 
there is, I believe, they read a part of the Bible and each one gives 
his idea as to the meaning and then the instructor of the section. 
I believe you are just such a coot 4 that you would have joined 

2 In writing this Mahan did himself great injustice. 'He was spiritually- 
minded and gave serious thought to the religious life, as exemplified in his 
character and work. 

3 J. H. C. Coffin, of Maine, Professor of Mathematics. Ashe describes 
him as a "gentle gentleman." He was a man of great particularity in all 
that he did or required of others. He commanded the respect and admira- 
tion of the midshipmen. He entered the naval service in 1836. His death 
occurred in 1890. 

4 "Coot" was Mahan's nickname for Ashe. It appears to have been in 
no way suitable. 



38 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

had you been here. Jacobs, 5 who belongs, came down the other 

day and said first thing, "Well I'll be d d if that Steece 6 isn't 

the d dest fool I ever heard of, he proposed this morning that 

the younger should study the Old, and the seniors the New Testa- 
ment." Mr. Jacobs had hardly been studying the Ten Command- 
ments. 

As I have told you so much that could not interest you about 
Miss Nannie, I will tell you what she said of you last evening. 
I mentioned, as we were talking about North and South, that my 
warmest friends were Southerners, and my best was from North 
Carolina, which was almost as good, / said, though I thought 
as bad, as Virginia. She asked me who it was. I said "Mr. Ashe, 
but he has resigned." "Oh, yes," said she, "he was the one who 
was so smart and whose resigning the officers regretted so much. 
I heard Mr. Simpson say that he was very sorry he had gone." 

Do you know I was reported the other day by a fourth class- 
man for imposing upon him because he was a fourth classman. 
It was rather binding on me in particular to fall out with my 
class for reporting them and then to be reported for showing 
them favor. It was with reference to my disposition of some extra 
toast on the table. Not being enough to go around, I took them 
turn about round the table. This day one of them came to my end 
of the table when the scamp clawed on to it, passed it down his 
way and commenced helping himself. I told him to pass it up. 
He nodded but did not do so, and I accordingly gave my orders 
again in a very peremptory tone until he at last saw fit to obey. 

Some d d fools tried to make something of it against me, but 

Jim O'Kane happened to be in the room and swore that he would 

1 William Cloyd Jacobs, of Ohio, entered the Academy in 1856, but 
resigned. 

c Tecumseh Steece, of Maryland but appointed from Ohio, entered the 
Academy in 1857. He performed valuable service as a member of a boat 
expedition sent to destroy the Confederate Schooner Judah off the Pensacola 
Navy Yard in September, 1861. He died July 15, 1864, as a lieutenant on 
board the U. S. S. San Jacinto, East Gulf Blockading Squadron. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 39 

not only have done what I did, but would have kicked the d d 

fool into the bargain. 

I was told yesterday that Miss Adams is to be here again on 
New Year. I am very sorry to hear it, for I do not want to see 
her again. I was so attentive to her when she was here that the 
ladies make a point of twitting me whenever I am there about her. 
I shall certainly not see very much of her and after having paid one 
visit out of courtesy I doubt very much if I go again. How did 
you succeed with your cousin? 

I was reading a few days since one of your letters to Cenas 
while on leave in which you spoke of me as a poor seasick devil. 
Now that would be bad enough from anybody but from you, you 
poor miserable God- forsaken heaving North Carolina lawyer, it is 
really too bad. "Seasick devil," forsooth, I, who never saw a 
moment's real seasickness in my life. Miss Craven told me that 
if she were a man she would certainly have been here at the 
present moment. Why don't you swap sexes with her ? I would 
like to have her second captain of my crew. 

This letter is now long enough, too long for your deserts. 
Seasick devil! Humpt! 

Very affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

[Date, probably in December, 1858.] 
***** 

I expect you are thinking that I have run this subject into 
the ground, and perhaps I have, but there is no getting out of it. 
I am head over ears in love, but I am trying hard to keep a tight 
rein over myself and am partly succeeding. It would be singular 
if, with her predilections for Virginians, I from so far North 
should come in first best. Your name was again mentioned last 
night and she again said that the officers regretted your resigning 
so much. She told me that our class was said to be the best 



40 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

and smartest first class they had ever had here. I did not think 
to ask her from whom she heard it. Miss Julia Kent told me 
yesterday afternoon that Mrs. Blake 1 had told her that the Cap- 
tain had instructions from the Secretary to keep his eye on the 
first class so that if he wanted a few officers he would know where 
to put his finger on them. So, with old Tom Craven's good 
opinion, I stand quite a fair chance. 

^c :*: % :jc * 

Well, I have been cutting a pretty figure for I have just come 
from Chapel, where, despite the utmost efforts that I could make, 
my visible muscles became rebellious, beyond control. 

jf: ^ j|c ^J a|e 

Old Jones preached forty-five minutes upon the text "Almost 
thou persuadest me to be a Christian," made some eloquent allu- 
sions to conversions, mourning benches, and enquiring meetings, 
with the whole crowd of etcs. that you know as much about as I. 

Jack Remey just behind introduced a fool or so, which, in 

the state of my face, was irresistible, although no doubt at ordi- 
nary times it would have shocked me dreadfully, and the effect on 
every one seemed to be almost to persuade them never to be 
Christians. My particular trial lay in the semi-comic face of 
Dunk Ames, who sat just opposite; it was as long as a yard 
measure, but with an expression of heavenly resignation to his 
fate. Oh, dear, it is impossible to convey to you an adequate idea 
of the comedy. Old Blake began to shift rather uneasily in his 
seat toward the end, and I should wonder if Slicky got a rap over 
the knuckles. Billy Claiborne seemed to think that if Jones did 
as I said, knock all the religion I had in me out, he wouldn't have 
done anything to brag of, but that, I am sure, is a mistake. Last 
Sunday he mentioned the wonderful workings of the Spirit 
throughout the land, which "had extended even to this place. 
Oh ! how glad would your parents be if they knew their sons 

1 Mrs. George S. Blake, wife of the Superintendent of the U. S. Naval 
Academy. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 41 

read their Bibles." This pathetic allusion to the Bible class, which 
almost equaled Bartow's "Sailor Boy's winding sheet," was told 
me by Billy. I being officer of the day the sacrilegious scamp 
laughed at it. But really, Sam, it is a great pity that they would 
not send a decent parson here, there is certainly a large field 
perfectly innocent of cultivation. 

We have commenced fencing and I rather like it. Our exer- 
cise is principally with the broadsword and we have it three times 
one week and twice the next. Hall and all the captains but Kane 
are in one squad, the latter and the privates in another. It is an 
excellent management, giving these latter a chance to learn more 
of the drill and relieving them of their position in the ranks, but, 
with the exception of McCook and Prentiss, I don't think much 
of their abilities in the line. McCook is undoubtedly a remark- 
ably smart man, pity there was not more manliness and principle 
in him ; the perfect lack of these is by no means compensated for 
by mere talent. . . . 

Naval Academy, 
Dec. 4th, 1858.' 
My dear, dear Friend : 

I received your welcome letter last Monday morning, but true 
to my good resolutions I have resisted the strong temptation to 
answer it during the week and have left it to to-day. I am very 
glad to find that my harping on the subject of the ladies that I 
admire has not disgusted you, and as you were so imprudent as 
to ask me to speak of them often, you will be sure to get enough. 

I went with Cenas yesterday to see Miss Julia Kent. As is the 
case with most of those who know her I liked her very much. 
We stayed there about half an hour or three-quarters, and, as is 
usually the case with me when I am not having a tete-a-tete with 
a lady, I left the burden of the conversation upon my companion's 
shoulders. It is certainly a consolation to know that it devolved 
on one so well able to sustain it. I fear that out of two gentlemen 



42 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

talking to the same lady I will always leave the least agreeable 
impression upon the fair one's mind; when alone I manage to get 
along much better. Miss Nannie assured me last night that she 
did not think that I was in the least diffident now, but if my 
manner does not show it it certainly belies my feelings. From 
Miss Julia's we went to Tate's, where we sat for half an hour 
smoking and talking, when Cenas took his departure for Miss 
McCubbin's 2 and I soon after followed him en route for the 
Brewers'. These last are very kind and cordial to me, and I wish 
I could feel more attached to them than I do ; yesterday they gave 
me, or rather they repeated, an invitation to come to supper. I 
excused myself by the plea of an engagement with Cenas, which 
was certainly the truth, but I did not keep that engagement, and 
still did not go to the Brewers', so I feel as if I had really been 
treating them very badly. I shall certainly go next Saturday 
evening, God willing. 

My slight infidelity to Miss Nannie C. has disappeared like 
"snow before summer's sun." When I found last night that 
Cenas and I could not well go out together I made up my mind 
to go over and see Miss Nannie, so I dressed and went over at 
quarter after six, firmly intending to leave at about seven. Miss 
Nannie looked so charming, for she had been lately quite unwell 
and had paled a little in consequence, with a white handkerchief 
tied round her throat, that I would have given anything as I 
went in to have put my arm round her waist and kissed her. She 
looked so gentle and dependent that it was almost like inviting 
some caressing from some one, and she, poor girl! I know has 
no one now with her who can do that for her. I really believe 
I can trace in her manner that same longing for one to take the 
place of a brother that I have for one who could be my sister. 
I hope she will only like me nearly as well as I do her, and that 
she will I am quite confident from last night's conversation. My 

a An old Maryland family, the name formerly written Maccubbin, some- 
times now McKubbin. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 43 

three-quarters of an hour was lengthened gradually to three hours 
and a half, for not until quarter of ten did I rise to take my 
departure, and then it was with the understanding that she was to 
play the sister with regard to me in some particulars. So you 
see I am gradually advancing to the end I so much desire. As it 
interests me so much I intend to inflict on you something of an 
account of my evening, which I may here say was not interrupted 
by any one else coming in. After we had been talking about half 
an hour or an hour on different subjects we happened to be speak- 
ing, I believe, of letter writing, when I out with it and said, 
"Miss Nannie, I am going to ask permission to write to you after 
I leave here." She flushed quickly but answered, "Oh, I don't 
know, Mr. Mahan, I will have to think about that, for I have never 
in my life corresponded with a gentleman." That does not look 
very encouraging on paper, but there was a willingness in her tone 
and manner that was so different from her mode of speaking 
about a fortnight before, talking of ladies writing to gentlemen 
generally, that I felt that I did not displease her, so I continued, 
"I don't want you to answer me until I leave, which is still a 
long, long way off, but I am an excellent correspondent, Miss 
Nannie, and will write to you just as I would to a sister." "Oh," 
said she, "I would give anything to have a brother," or "I would 
love dearly to have a brother," some expression tantamount to 
this, but it surprised and rejoiced me so much that I do not 
remember exactly. You may think that then would have been 
my time to press my request on her to treat me as a brother, 
but I do not think that a girl of fine feelings, as she certainly is, 
is any more likely or as likely to be unreserved toward you when 
she feels as if she had perhaps gone a little too far already, as 
I saw she did. I merely said then, "And I to have a sister, for 
that has been one great thing that my home has wanted to attach 
me more to it." And then, half jestingly, half in earnest, "Miss 
Nannie, I wish you would act as a sister toward me in one respect 



44 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

and that is correcting the faults you may and must see in me, and 
I will take your advice very kindly." 

One speech of Miss Nannie's I have omitted that shows how 
such an offer from one she likes would please her even though 
she did not accept it. Talking of one of her friends who had 
left a few days before, she said she had missed her so much, 
"not having any brother or sister of my own age to be a com- 
panion to me I am so lonely. I sometimes think I would give any- 
thing for a brother a little older than myself and a sister about 
my own age." Indeed, I have very strong hope that before I go 
it may be Nannie and Alf with us, and I am almost sure that so 
far as she is concerned there will be a willingness or a wish for 
it that womanly modesty alone will keep her from acknowledging. 

I believe I will stop here, I have written you longer and I 
should think more interesting letters, but you must take me as 
I am. Goodbye my dear, dear friend, 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Billy and Cenas send love. Cenas says he wants to have a 
letter from you. 

[A portion of the above letter is missing, but Mahan refers 
to a West Point officer whom he considers one of the finest in 
the service and continues] : 

Father 1 mentioned my trouble here and the gentleman said he 
had had the same difficulty at West Point in reporting his class- 
mates ; the results were the same — that many of them stopped 
speaking to him, but that afterward they came forward and ac- 
knowledged their error and begged his pardon. I hardly give 

1 Dennis Hart Mahan, Professor of Civil and Military Engineering at 
West Point Military Academy for a period of forty-one years. His career 
was full and distinguished and his character as a man commanded the 
admiration and respect of all who knew him. His son Alfred had unbounded 
confidence in his ability and wisdom. His reverence for his father and 
desire to please him are clearly indicated in these letters. Professor Mahan 
died in 1871. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 45 

the present first class credit for so much manliness as to make 
that reparation, even should they find that their course should be 
a wrong one. Father is delighted, as you may suppose, at my 
conduct and with his warm approval and such friends as Billy, 
Cenas and Borchert the rest of them may go to hell. I take it very 
easily now. The drill is acknowledged on all hands to be vastly 
superior to last year's and its defects could be altogether remedied 
if all the captains would do as we few have [done] and Lockwood 
would give us some three or four weeks of constant drill with com- 
panies. The fact is the squad drill, which is so much neglected, is 
the one thing most necessary for our success ; if the men are well 
instructed no evolutions can fail excepting through the fault of the 
captains ; and if these latter could feel that they would naturally try 
to avoid such censure by informing themselves on the subject. The 
next first class, although a very nice one, has few men who will 
do anything. O'Kane, Ames, Tayloe 2 — all warmly applaud my 
course, but whether they would pursue it themselves or not I 
don't know. Tayloe does do it this year and those three will, 
I think, if captains and if they feel the propriety of it, not shrink 
from any unpopularity that it may cause them. Ames is a remark- 
ably fine fellow, a sailor every inch of him, very irreligious, which 
would bring him in disfavor perhaps among the old maids, but 
worth a dozen of the milk sops that these religious young men so 
often are. Looking at the members of the Bible class from our 
class — Hall, Spencer, Swasey, Farquhar and Mackenzie — what 
one of them can we respect? Spencer I am getting to dislike 
so much that every time I see him I get angry. One of my un- 
accountable whims I suppose. Claiborne has told him that our 
party for sailing is made up, and, much to my surprise, there was 
no application for admittance. He and Cenas don't like each other. 

a James Langhorne Tayloe, of Virginia, was not in Mahan's class. He 
entered the Academy in 1855 and graduated in 1860. He resigned to go 
South during the war and was killed in action Mar. 8, 1862, on board the 
C. S. ship Raleigh, in Hampton Roads. 



46 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

I don't know whether he feels my dislike or not, but I guess he 
does. Do you know I run afoul of Miss Nannie C. continually 
on the subject of Virginia, she thinking it an earthly paradise, 
fitted only for the abode of the superior race of beings it contains, 
while I insist that Virginians are liable to the infirmities of our 
common mortality, and once I unwittingly let out that I did not 
think the Virginians in the Academy were all great, as great as 
they might be. Every time since then she has made a point of 
saying that she thinks all her friends are very manly, the point I 
attacked then, and having Read and Butt in my eye, and she evi- 
dently wants me to say who they are that I think so badly of, 
but I shut down upon her like an oyster-shell when she asked me 
outright and said I did not speak to the gentlemen. She allowed 
the plea and the matter dropped. I should delight to cut out the 
"self-supposed irresistible" E. G. 3 of Amherst County, Virginia, 
and I verily believe that she likes me better than most of the 
fellows, Harrison perhaps excepted. 

I amused the Brewers a great deal yesterday evening by tell- 
ing them how long my "smitations" usually last. A very violent 
one lasts about two months, a moderate one three, while for those 
whom I only like very much I usually remain attached to for a 
long time. Don't count yourself in any of the above lists, my 
dearest, for my love for you is not comparable to any of the 
others. 

December 12, 1858. 
My dearest friend: 

I began a letter to you yesterday and by Taps had written as 
much as six pages, but on reading it over this morning I came 
to the conclusion that I could not on any account send it. The 
principal consideration that induced this determination was that 
I had indulged in a pretty heavy volley of oaths, being in a bad 
humor last night, owing to my thinking that Miss Nannie had 
3 Edmund Gaines Read. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 47 

shown anything but liking for me. When you write to old man 
Livingston 1 tell him with my compliments that he may like the 
fair sex if he pleases, but as for me, of all the kind fairies who 
attended my nativity, I bless the one most who bestowed on me 
the gift of "Inconstancy/' Yes, Old Man, the moral impossibility 
for me to love a woman three months after I have left, or a 
minute after she has made herself ridiculous or notorious in any 
way, will do more for my happiness than any one other quality 
I possess, always provided I don't engage myself, which would 
indeed be an ugly predicament. My fickleness, however, extends 
only to the ladies and not to my friends of my own sex, and in 
proof of it I send you my kindest regards, with all sorts of hopes 
that you be more fortunate in your wooing than from present 
appearances I will be in mine. 

I had a letter a few days since from a classmate of mine at 
Columbia College in New York; my class graduated last June 
and he told me a great deal about my old acquaintances, friends 
I could hardly call them, there. One has died; so soon, but of 
consumption, which seems always to choose the young. (Doleful 
reflection caused by the doleful fact of there being consumption 
in Craven's 2 wife's family.) Another whom I remember prin- 
cipally as being red-headed, an ultra abolitionist, and a determined 
user of outlandish oaths, is now in the University of Virginia, 
studying for the Ministry, and preaches every Sunday to a con- 
gregation of a hundred and fifty niggers. Some hope for me yet, 
is there not? 

I had one of the most hearty fits of laughter last night at Jim 
O'Kane that I ever enjoyed in my life; at the same time I sym- 
pathized greatly with him. A crowd of fellows had assembled in 

1 Charles S. Livingston, of South Carolina but appointed from Florida, 
entered the Academy in 1854 and was a member of the second class when 
Ashe was in it, but resigned. 

a Mrs. Thomas Tingey Craven. 



48 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Paddock's 3 room to hear music and some of them prevailed on 
Jim to give them a tune on the violin, which it appears is a newly 
acquired accomplishment of his. He struck up a dance, not much 
tune about it I must say, and "Ye Pelicans" commenced a war- 
dance to the music. The scene was rich, Jim smiling benignly 
on the assembled multitude while "Ye Pelicans," each cigar in 
mouth, gyrated around in the mazes of the dance. But alas! a 
change came o'er the spirit of the scene. One of "Ye Pelicans," 
Yclept Schley, unwarily trod on Jim's pedestal where a very sore 
corn had made its appearance. Away went violin in one corner 
of the room, bow in another, while Jim, exclaiming with shock- 
ing profanity . . . commenced a series of hops round the room 
in an agony that can be conceived of only by one who like him 
& me has a long cherished corn on his foot. And not a bit of 
sympathy did he get. The room was convulsed with roars of 
laughter at the expressive pantomime of his countenance, while 
Schley, taking possession of the discarded violin, commenced a 
series of performances that only Schley could give. 

A new target was put up for practice yesterday, something 
like the one we had last June, of canvas with a bull's-eye in 
it, but the fourth shot carried it half away ; soon after all the 
balance went excepting one pole, at which I fired and nearly hit, 
but it was something like Locksley firing or rather shooting at the 
willow wand in "Ivanhoe." They will have to construct it more 
durably or it will never answer. 

We have listened to a delightful sermon from Old Slick on 
rum drinking. What better description of it do you need, you 
who have so often listened to and been bored by a similar inflic- 
tion yourself ? It is really the most disagreeable thing in the 
world to sit quietly and listen to the rant and cant of that intoler- 
able old poker. He read some poetry in his sermon & so admirable 
was his enunciation, his reading, etc., that by the time he had 

3 Samuel Barnet Paddock entered the Academy in 1856 and was in the 
class below Mahan's, graduating in 1860. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 49 

reached the fourth line and I heard "bloody sea" rhyme with 
"ease" I immediately discovered it was not prose that he was 
reading. My poor face is one of the few things that I cannot 
subject to my will, and it, I confess, is incorrigible. He made sev- 
eral allusions to the Bible class, and drew a picture of a young 
man who wished to read the Bible and who steadily persisted in so 
doing, which was highly edifying to us all. Poor Jim O'Kane gets 
tearing every Sunday and as for Dunker Ames words cannot do 
justice to the expression of his face. 

We are having now some faint hopes of obtaining leave for the 
whole class during Christmas week. Farquhar spoke to Blake 
about it yesterday at his house, and though the latter refused to 
give his sanction positively to it he said he thought it quite likely 
that we would obtain it. If we do I shall of course run on home 
& try to take Billy with me. I would ask you, but I know that 
they will insist on your being at home at that time, as you have 
been absent for so many years. 

Hackett is officer of the day and as he was coming over to 
inspection this morning he met Carter coming from the Bible 
class. The latter stopped him & asked him to join & H. promised. 
Poor Ding ! 4 I feel sorry for him, and should not blame him for 
not keeping his promise, as it was in a manner extorted from him. 
Spencer still goes, and I trust will improve ; I cannot bear him, and 
feel confident that it is nothing but his intimacy with Carter & 
family or a fear of going to hell that influences him. I would 
rather have a friend of mine an infidel than religious through 
fear! By the way, I asked Miss Nannie Craven last night about 
Hackett, whether she did not think him good-looking, she said, 
"no," very emphatically & very pointedly, and her manner, said 
plainly "nor do I like him." I am quite cast down today on account 
of the reception I thought I experienced from Miss Nannie last 
night. I don't much fancy this vacillating between hope and fear, 
and will have to bring matters to a crisis pretty soon. I wish 
4 An affectionate nickname given Samuel Holland Hackett. 



50 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

it were June. Farquhar came in last night while I was there, 
and Miss Nannie, besides having told me before that Farquhar 
was a great favorite of hers, evidently was not at all sorry when 
I left. It is an incomprehensible problem to me, how at one time 
she can seem to like me so well and at another appear totally not 
only indifferent but not even not to dislike me. On Wednesday 
last when I was there her reception of me was as cordial as a man 
in love could wish. That evening, I staid for a long time, and at 
last word came from Old Tom that it was five minutes of seven 
(study hours being at 6:30). I rose to go and was just saying 
"Adieu" when down came little Harry 5 saying "Pa said he had 
made a mistake, it was only ten minutes past six." I knew this 
to be wrong; however I said I should stay my time out & sat 
down again, Harry promising to keep time for me; at last he 
came and said it was one minute of half past and I left; when 
I reached the quarters it was quarter after seven, so old Tom's 
clock was three-quarters of an hour out of the way to my great 
good fortune, for I thereby enjoyed a tete-a-tete of over an hour 
with Miss Nannie. She paid me quite a compliment that even- 
ing. Speaking of studies this year I said that they were so numer- 
ous that I preferred to let everything go. "But does not that 
affect your standing?" said she. "No, I think not in the long run." 
"So you are going to take one, are you?" "Oh, no," said I, 
"two." "But why don't you study and take one, you can do 
it if you try." "Indeed, how do you know?" "Oh, I know you 
can very well, you can stand one easily if you try; I have heard 
professors and I have heard officers say so." Flattery coming from 
such sweet lips is doubly pleasant & when I came to my room I 
did pitch in sure enough and in consequence of Miss Nannie's 
words got an average of 4 in Chauvy for the week. I am going 
to try to come up as fast as I did last year but don't know whether 
I will succeed. She paid me indirectly the same compliment once 
before. Speaking of my little sister 6 she said, "She is the brightest 

5 Young son of Capt. Thomas Tingey Craven. 

6 Mary or Jane Leigh Mahan. sisters of Alfred Thayer Mahan. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 51 

little thing L ever saw, in church during the responses I saw 
her lips moving, but thought she was only going through the motion 
until I listened and found she was saying them as earnestly as 
you please." "Yes, Miss Nannie," said I, "she is so smart, but 
if you will come to West Point, you will see her brothers 7 are as 
smart as she is," meaning of course my little brothers. "Yes," 
said she, pointedly, "I know very well they are," and as she didn't 
even know till then that I had brothers or sisters I was vain 
enough, when I thought of it afterwards, to apply it to myself. 
Old Tom is a brick. When I went in yesterday evening he was 
sitting in the hall and immediately he saw me he said, "Good even- 
ing, Mr. Mahan. I am very glad to see you, sir, walk in," in his 
gruff, cordial way. Damme! if I know which I like best, father 
or daughter. 

From the Secretary of the Navy's Report I suppose we will 
hardly get any leave next June. I do not mind that much for 
myself but expect my friends will be greatly disappointed. If 
things do not clear up some in the Gulf we may be sent there. 
"The Herald" of yesterday had a long article on the subject, giving 
a list of our vessels in the Gulf, as well as the English, French 
and Spanish. The Brooklyn, they say, is to be got ready for sea 
next month. 

I am going to stop here now, my dear Sam. I am in a bad 
humor and very low spirits to-day, for my interview with Miss 
Nannie last night has given an indefinite feeling of I don't know 
exactly what, but certainly I am much depressed. Billy & Cenas 
send love. 

Yours affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Please excuse this hand-writing. I don't know what you will 

make of it, for in re-reading I could hardly get along myself. 

7 Dennis Hart and Frederick Mahan, the former becoming Commodore 
Mahan, U. S. N., and the latter Major Frederick Mahan, U. S. Corps of 
Engineers. Dennis Hart Mahan died in 1925; Frederick Mahan in 1918. 



52 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

December 19th, 1858. 
Dear Sam: 

We have succeeded, strange to say, in obtaining a leave, al- 
though not for the week that we at first requested. However, they 
have given us five days, which will be time enough for me to 
spend two days at home and one in New York, where I will have 
the opportunity of seeing her whom I was so much in love with 
when I came to the school, and who came so near making another 
impression on me last summer. She is acknowledged by every 
one who sees her to be very pretty now. I must confess to feeling 
some doubt as to the enjoyment I may have, for they have been 
very much annoyed at my standing recently and I have been very 
angry at receiving a severe letter from them, and told them so for 
the first time in my life, for I think I am now old enough and 
have shown it enough to be left to myself or at least not to be 
talked to as a child. 

I have not seen Miss Nannie for over a week now. I called 
yesterday evening but she was not in and I do not think that I 
shall go there more than once before leaving. You see > as I told 
you, I am now halfway between the jealous and the desponding 
conditions, but I hope my New York magnet will keep me, like 
Mahomet's coffin, midway between earth and heaven, in a state of 
suspension or rather of suspense. I left word by one of Miss 
Nannie's brothers that I was going on to West Point and would be 
happy to take any message that she might wish to send to her 
cousin there or to take charge of any commission. 

Jim O'Kane and I called on Miss Julia Kent yesterday after- 
noon. As we went in I saw a naval cap and presumed we would 
find Hackett, but it was Sturdivant 1 and instead of Miss Julia there 

1 Theodore Sturdivant, of North Carolina, entered the Academy in 
1857 and was beginning his term in the third class at this time, as Mahan 
was beginning his in the first. He resigned in Aoril, 1861, and died May 
29, 1861, at Charlotte, N. C. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 53 

was Mrs. Sturdivant 2 and Mrs. Kent. I never was struck so flat 
aback in my life, it was a complete case of being in irons. How- 
ever, I introduced myself and then Jim, who was likewise pretty 
much aghast. The more I go into ladies' society the more con- 
vinced I am that it is not my proper sphere and I am going to quit 
it as soon as possible, that is as soon as I can smoke ; until then I 
must have something to vary the monotony of my life. I was 
very much pleased with Miss Julia and Jim insists that I left him 
in the shade, but I insist the contrary and so we are quite unde- 
cided. I am getting to like Jim more and more every day. 

I had the first words with one of my crew the other day. 
You may readily guess without my telling you that it was with 
McCook. 3 The case was simply this. Marching to chapel one 
of the crew slipped and fell ; everyone laughed. I took no notice 
of that, but McCook continued laughter after the rest & audibly 
and as I thought forced. After breakfast I told him so and asked 
him if it were not forced that he would say so, whereupon he com- 
menced, "that he would not say, I might report him or not as I 
saw fit, that he did not hold himself accountable to me for every 
time he laughed, &c, &c," in his bullying style. I told him that 
"whether he held himself accountable to me or not that he was 
accountable and that I intended to hold him accountable." I then 
went to the Round House, and, coming back, he asked what I 
meant, with the evident look of intending to bully me and brow- 
beat me down. I said, "I will tell you what I mean," and I 
caught his eye and looked steadily in it. "I am Captain of the 
1st Crew, and as such intend not to allow any disorder that I 
think intentional ; I was in doubt whether yours this morning was 
intentional or not and asked you. You refused [to say] and I in- 
tend to report you." "Very well," said he, "but I don't want you to 

3 Mrs. Sturdivant, here referred to, was probably young Sturdivant's 
mother, on a visit to him at the time. 

3 McCook, an older man and longer at the Academy, resented Mahan's 
leadership. 



54 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

come and call me to account for what I do or there will be a row." 
I thought saying "I am not afraid of you" would be rather childish, 
so I simply said, "You may rely on it you will be reported to- 
morrow night, and if you like you may deny the charge." "Deny 
hell!" said he, and I left. What a blank fool he is. Hackett, 
I am sorry to say, is beginning to show plainly that "evil com- 
munications corrupt good manners" and both Claiborne & Borchert 
agree with me in this. I regret it extremely, for Hackett cer- 
tainly has the elements of a very fine fellow in him, but he is, I 
think, irretrievably ruined. I see no hope for him. He prefers 
the society that is most calculated to injure him. He seems even 
to like McCook, who certainly does govern a great many in the 
other part of the building by fear. Jack Remey dare not say his 
soul is his own when McCook is around. I was meditating the 
other night on the chances of the class offering to make up with 
me, and I decided that I would not in that case accept it from 
Hackett or Butt, for certainly if any two men in the school had a 
chance of knowing me those two had. Butt, I was told the other 
night, came down to the buildings and said to Casey, 4 "By Jove, 
Casey, I wish I was as strong as you. If I would not pound that 
Mahan !" Don't say anything of this, for I am breaking a promise 
in telling it. As Casey remarked, for he told me, the only blows 
I ever received here were on Butt's account. 

Nearly chapel time. Nelson 5 is to preach to-day so there is 
some consolation. 

We have had the sermon, not nearly so good as Nelson usually 
preaches, but still a vast improvement on Slicky. I always begin 
to feel down in the mouth about this time on Sunday at the idea 
of having another week's study, &c, before. Damn it ! If I 

* Silas Casey, of Rhode Island, was in the class below Mahan's and 
graduated in 1860. He retired as Rear Admiral in 1903 and died in 1913. 

6 Apparently a visiting minister, probably from one of the Annapolis 
churches. No chaplain in the naval service of this name at the time has 
been found. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 55 

were not in the Navy but in some profession that would require 
continual book- worming I should go nearly crazy & shoot myself 
I am sure. When will June be here ? It is still five months and a 
half off. O dear ! 

We received news here this last week that Farringden 6 was 
dead. He died on the 10th of the month. Poor fellow! What 
a rapid advance the disease made with him ; they say he died very 
happy. Simpson put my good breeding and respect for the dead 
to a severe test on Thursday when I was officer of the day. He 
spoke of him as having a glorious death, a wonderful death, he 
seemed to have visions of Heaven, &c, &c, so much in the religious 
newspaper style that I lost command of my unfortunate counte- 
nance and had to hide my agitation in a cup of coffee. How are you 
getting along? Have no religious feelings arisen in your breast 
at home ? There was a verse read in the Bible to-day that I intend 
to quote to any one who asks me to join the Bible class. "Oh ! 
generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath 
to come ?" One of such a generation of vipers, and what answer 
could I return to the question? Miss Kate Brewer has a lecture 
in store for me on the subject, at least so Miss Lucy told me the 
other evening when I called there ; I only saw the charming Lucy, 
Kate having gone to Baltimore for a time. 

Captain Blake told me yesterday that he had heard that the 
Senate Committee on Naval Affairs had decided to bring in a bill 
for twenty more steamers, which will make our Navy quite 
respectable and necessitate an increase in the number of officers. 
The Minnesota is expected home in May or June, and I suppose 
that the midshipmen on it will be examined as soon as they return, 
as they will be needed for duty almost immediately. 

"Thomas Putnam Farrington, of New York, entered the Academy in 
1857 and in the fall of 1858 had just entered the third class when, on 
account of his health, he was dismissed. As there was nothing against 
Farrington except his health, the record should probably be resigned. He 
survived less than two months after leaving Annapolis. 



56 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Waddell told me yesterday as I returned from town that he 
was sorry to hear that I was going away, as he had been wanting 
to have Cenas, Harrison & myself at his house on Christmas night. 
I should have liked to go very much and I have no doubt would 
have enjoyed myself much. 

I have been thinking now for ten minutes whether there is 
anything more to tell you and cannot think of anything excepting 
that Coppa, our fencing master, has me next to foot in his depart- 
ment and when I asked him what my name was could not tell me. 
We have dispensed for an indefinite "present" with all infantry 
drill. Lockwood has two crews in regular rotation in the armory 
and instructs them in the manual. This change has been made on 
account of the violent colds that some took from standing in the 
cold at Battalion drill. Carter sent around by Hall the other night 
to find out what denominations the first class belonged to. He 
did not come to me. Gave me up perhaps. 

I will stop here for the present. You may miss my next regu- 
lar letter, as I will be at home & perhaps occupied. Merry Christ- 
mas & Happy New Year to you and all yours, my dearest friend. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
January 1st, 1859. 
My dear Sam : 

A longer time has elapsed since I have written to you than 
has ever passed before since you left us here, and the consequence 
is that I find on my hands a budget of news, the greatest difficulty 
with regard to which is to know where to begin. So I suppose 
it will be best to narrate the events in their chronological order, 
beginning on the day before leaving Annapolis on a leave which 
has certainly been the event of my Academic career, and for aught 
I know may be a most marked period in the history of my life. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 57 

With many apologies then for the badness of the writing, for I 
am not in train for doing better, I make my best bow to you 
and begin. 

On Thursday the 23d of December, all my hopes and fears 
were brought to a happy conclusion by the information conveyed 
to me by Gaptain Blake that I had leave from the ensuing morning 
until the night of the next Thursday (Dec. 30th). Human nature, 
however, is never satisfied, and no sooner had I obtained what a 
day before seemed the very summit of my wishes, than new wants 
sprung into being in my mind. First, I must needs have a carpet 
bag, which after all was not such an unreasonable wish ; and, 
secondly, I required permission to visit the honorable city of 
Annapolis on that evening. 

I was well aware that there was not the most remote possi- 
bility of my obtaining the first in the precincts of the Academy, so 
I sent to the Brewers' and asked if they had not one that they 
would lend me, and, fortunately, they not only had one but they 
lent it to me. My second request was looked upon by old Tom 
Craven with favorable eyes, and, accordingly having packed up 
everything and rigged myself out as a nautical Adonis should 
do on such solemn occasions, I sallied out to see the ladies. It 
is a good rule, and one I advise you to adopt on such occasions, to 
begin at one end of the string and work regularly down to the 
other. Such at least was my course on this eventful night. I 
went first to the Brewers', and after some difficulty succeeded in 
gaining admittance, either their bell or their servant being out of 
order. Miss Lucy I saw, Miss Kate being in Baltimore. I staid 
there between half an hour and three-quarters. From the Brewers' 
I started to go to the Waddells', but changed my mind and went 
to Tait's and smoked a cigar with Cenas. Left there and went to 
Jas. I.'s. 1 I spent a very pleasant half hour there and saw an 
Annapolis celebrity whom I had never before been introduced to, 

1 "Jas. I." and "Jasseye" both refer to Lieut. James Iredell Waddell. 



58 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Miss Kate Roy. "Jasseye's" 1 parting advice to me was "Mr. 
Mahan, don't let those cadets get you on a drunk; or if you do, 
see you put them all under the table." From there I directed my 
steps to Miss Julia Kent's. This fair demoiselle was likewise in, 
and I had the pleasure of seeing her for half an hour tete-a-tete, 
and, just as I was on the point of leaving, her mother came in, so 
I prolonged my visit a quarter of an hour. She is certainly very 
pretty and Billy says "She grows upon you." I anticipate enjoy- 
ing her society very much when she returns to the city, which she 
has left for about six weeks. Horrible separation ! From this 
idol I proceeded to the house of my (then) supreme divinity, Miss 
Nannie Craven. I say then, for reasons which you shall learn 
hereafter, but which, confining myself to a strictly historical nar- 
rative, I will not give here. Now, my friend, sympathize with me 
if you have any sympathy in your nature. Nine o'clock in the 
evening, Cenas and myself the only mid n . released from study 
hours, and knowing that he intended to spend the evening at 
Simpson's, what more natural than that I should look forward 
to an uninterrupted interview (solo) with Miss Nannie. Imagine 
then my disgust, my astonishment, I may say my petrifaction, at 
finding there a citizen ! And such a citizen ! My dear fellow, you 
know that my military imagination rarely permits me to recog- 
nize, or rather, to realise, the existence of such an order of beings 
as civilians, and in my certainty that no midshipmen would be 
there, it never once crossed my infatuated mind that there would 
be any third party. Such was, however, the fact. In the full 
and self -sufficient dignity of a young and well-fed collegian there 
sat John Brewer; 2 sat, did I say? Yes, and that was not the 
worst of it, he sat me out, and when I left at the end of twenty 
minutes, there he sat still, while I, damning everything an inch 
high, made the best of my way to Simpson's. At Simpson's there 
is now staying a very pleasant and not over young lady, a Miss 

' Brother of Miss Kate and Miss Lucv Brewer. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 59 

Thompson, of whom you have probably heard from Cenas, if he 
has written to you lately. Nothing worthy of note occurred while 
there, and as it was nearly half past nine when I reached there, 
my visit was necessarily a hurried one. 

That night I did not turn in until eleven o'clock, and next 
morning I had to rouse up at four, as the train was to leave at 
five o'clock. As there were so many of us to go North, Mr. Swann 
kindly used his influence to get us an early train so as to connect 
with the Washington, and so get to New York by night. In the 
hurry of coming off, I left a letter that Captain Craven had given 
me for father ; fortunately, however, I remembered it before leav- 
ing the depot and wrote in to Bill to forward it. Although not in 
strict accordance with the plan of my letter, I may as well tell 
you that it reached home before I left. 

It has taken me three pages and a half to get fairly started, 
so I will skim rapidly over the journey home lest I may not 
have room for everything. The cars were of course crowded, 
Congressmen and the whole tribe of Washington hangers-on going 
home for the holidays. The midshipmen behaved well enough 
so far as drinking or outrageous conduct was concerned, but 
showed a most lamentable want of tact and good breeding. Oaths 
and nautical expressions were continuously in their mouths. The 
former I did not mind ; the latter amazed me excessively, especially 
when S. D. Greene, with the apparent intention of exciting the 
admiration of the uninitiated crowd, shouted at the top of his 
voice, as we were leaving the boat at New York, "Backing and 
filling in a tideway," which happy expression was induced by the 
fact of its taking some time to get the boat fairly alongside the 
wharf. I sloped immediately and remained in an obscure part 
of the boat until the larger part of the passengers had left, when 
I sneaked out of the boat and into an omnibus, nor did I hold 
up my head like a man until I had left everything like an acting 
midshipman out of sight. Vulgarity is so obtrusive, and that is 



60 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

the cause of the very remarkable fact that it takes at least twenty 
gentlemen to remove the bad impression made by one rowdy. 

I arrived at my grandmother's house in New York at a little 
after eight o'clock on Friday evening, too late to permit me to go 
and see "her" the same evening, so I deferred it until the next 
morning. The change from Academy discipline to the comfort of 
civilized life was pleasure enough anyhow for one evening. The 
next morning I left quite early, that is, at half past eight o'clock, 
for I had to go considerably out of my way in order to see Hall 
and pay him ten dollars that he had been so kind as to lend me. 
If you knew New York you would understand the inconvenience 
of stopping at Thirtieth Street between Second and Third Avenues, 
when in a hurry to go to Twentieth St., between 9th and 10th Ave. 
So I got up there after nine, and found her just on the point of 
leaving for Sunday School, greatly to my annoyance. Know you, 
however, that she is a teacher and not a scholar; so you see I 
had but a poor look at her then, and her reception of me seemed 
to be anything but cordial. Whether I was mistaken in this or not 
the sequel will show. I spent however an hour and a half smok- 
ing with her brother, and then left to take the train for West 
Point, where I arrived at two o'clock on Christmas day, in time 
for our three o'clock dinner. 

My poor brain was in a whirl during the whole time that I 
was at home. I had seen nobody since I had left, so of course I 
had to see every one at the Point, besides any quantity of cadets, 
some on my own account, and many besides on behalf of numer- 
ous ladies who had friends there. On Christmas night my 
mother had a tree for the young ones of the Place, and, after I had 
seen such of the old folks as I wished who dropped in, I slipped 
off to the Barracks. To my utter astonishment, although it was 
Saturday night, they had study hours, so I had to slip up into the 
room of the man I was most intimate with, and there I remained 
during the evening. As he did not expect me, there were no cadets 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 61 

there but such as chanced to drop in during my stay, but he took 
the names of all those I wished to see and promised to facilitate 
my doing so. I told him that I would be there the next afternoon 
(Sunday), which I was. I met then Farquhar's brother, Miss 
Nannie's cousin, and Tom Eastman's 3 brother, 4 and others. Of 
course in such a short acquaintance the disagreeable qualities of 
none of the parties were apt to show themselves ; but in one respect 
I found they were much superior to us, and that respect was a deep 
and pervading sense of honor and truthfulness. One and all 
assured me that if a man was known to violate a pledge or break 
his word, he was cut by the whole corps to a man. With recol- 
lections of the last Saturday fresh in my mind, when I had seen 
five Mid n . under a pledge not to drink, drunk, I almost blushed 
as they declared their fine and unyielding principles in such a 
matter. And when one of them said, "Why, it is the same with 
you, is it not?" I felt like going through the floor. So far as 
either the Academy or their after pursuits are concerned, I would 
not change with them ; but in this one respect I would rejoice to 
see the whole Navy imitate them. Nor is it an idle boast, but 
their actions have time and again proved their truth. 

I was much surprised to find how much more strict they are 
there than here, for up to this time, native though I am, I knew 
nothing of the organization, or rather of the detail, of the Academy. 
Study hours they have all the week in the evening. They can and 
do visit on Saturdays even in the Academy limits. The officer 
of the day, as you know, is under oath to do his duty, and the 
sentinels in the halls inspect at certain times. At Chapel and at 
meals the officers wear their swords, and at the former all wear 

3 Thomas H. Eastman, of New York, entered the Academy in 1853 
and graduated in 1856. He had apparently been to sea and returned in 
Mahan's last year at Annapolis, as had many others, for examinations. He 
served in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron during the war, com- 
manding the U. S. S. Flag and the U. S. S. Memphis. He retired as a com- 
mander in 1883 and died in 1888. 

* Probably Robert Eastman 



62 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

their side-arms, be they bayonets or swords. I heard a better 
sermon last Sunday than Slicky usually gives us, and I must say 
that I eyed the cadets very curiously, and I am told they did the 
same by me. I was, in fact, an object of much curiosity to the 
West Pointers generally, for it is not often that they see a bona- 
fide midshipman up there. Col. Hardee, 5 the Commandant of 
Cadets, called to see me, as did also five other officers, the chaplain 
and his wife. Imagine so much attention paid to a tackyass acting 
midshipman, in whose mind there were still vivid recollections 
of the manner in which he was kicked about on the practice ship 
and elsewhere, and then ask yourself if you cannot account for 
the fact that I now measure six feet one and a quarter. All this, 
however, was too good to last, and, as I wanted to see my friends 
in New York, I had to leave on Tuesday morning. Here, how- 
ever, I may as well mention or explain something I wish you 
to know. 

You have probably seen in the papers that father has been 
undergoing a court-martial at the Point, on charges preferred by 
Lt. Morton of the Army. Father explained the matter to me, and 
I want to give you as clear an account as I can. 

During the examination in June, 1857, while father was in 

Europe, Mr. Morton drew up a paper, recommending certain 

changes in the course that my father pursued. (Mr. M. was 

in father's dept.). This he submitted to the board of visitors, 

and it was approved by them. Four months after, at the sugges- 

5 William Joseph Hardee, of Savannah, Georgia, was born in 1815, and 
died in Wythville, Va., in 1873. He graduated from West Point in 1838 
and served with distinction in the Mexican War. He entered the Confeder- 
ate service in 1861 as colonel, but was promoted to lieutenant-general in 
1862. He commanded a corps at Shiloh and at Perryville commanded the 
left wing of the Confederate Army. In December, 1864, he defended 
Savannah against General Sherman. At Bentonville he led the last charge 
with knightly gallantry, dashing over the enemy's breastworks on horse- 
back in front of his men. He was the author of Hardee's Tactics. As 
here indicated by Mahan, he was Commandant of Cadets at West Point 
in 1859 and had been for some time. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 63 

tion of the President of the Board, Mr. M. drew up another 
paper essentially different from the first, and in which moreover 
he accused father of incompetency; and stated that the officers 
in the army were ignorant of the subject, owing to their disgust 
at the manner in which it was taught at the Academy. This paper 
the Board of Visitors never saw, and yet it was substituted for the 
original paper and so went in as if approved by them. Father 
heard of this and was fortunately enabled to compare the two 
papers, and discover their entire dissimilarity. He then wrote 
to an officer at Old Point Comfort, and asked him to show the 
letter to the officers of the garrison, and find out, or rather ask 
them, what their experience said with regard to the sufficiency 
of the course; at the same time he commented freely on Mr. 
Morton's conduct, as highly dishonorable, which it was. A friend 
of Mr. M's sent him a copy of this letter, and he, after some delay, 
sent to father, and required him to give a retraction in writing, 
which father refused to do. Morton, however, did not wait to 
get the reply, but wrote to demand this Court of Inquiry. The 
decision of the Court has not yet been made public, but feeling 
at West Point even among the young lieutenants was strong in 
father's favor, and Morton, they say, has injured his character 
almost irretrievably. Do not mention this publicly for I may 
have made some slight inaccuracies in stating it. Father's inten- 
tion is to publish the proceedings, evidence, etc., and send it to 
the army posts. With regard to the incompetency, he wrote for 
. . . their opinions to Army officers of the highest standing, and 
some who had resigned and now hold offices of high civil trust 
as engineers. One said, "In every fortification I have been en- 
gaged at we have used your works, and when a wheel-barrow of 
earth was once placed, it had never to be removed." Another said, 
"I have no hesitation in saying that the Army owes more to you, 
not only for instruction, but for military deportment and bearing, 
than to any other one man connected with it." And another who 



64 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

had been sent to Europe by government and had visited their 
principal schools and fortresses, said, "I consider the engineer 
officers of America superior to those of any other country that I 
have visited." Father is too modest to tell even me this, but I 
heard it through mother, and he was obliged in self-defense to 
read them [these opinions] to the court. So Mr. Morton, an officer 
of some five years' standing, found himself arrayed against all the 
old and venerated names of the Army. And then again his charge 
against father is "defamation, making statements derogatory to his 
character," and father proves these statements to be true. 

Before leaving West Point let me tell you that I fell in love 
with another man's wife. How I escaped from the dire alternative 
of shooting myself or the husband I will tell you when I get to 
New York. The moment I got home I said, "Mother, has Mrs. 
Webb got any sisters?" "Yes, she has." "How old are they?" 
"Both younger than herself, but unfortunately both are married." 
I didn't say damn but I thought it, and when mother continued, 
"The youngest and they say the prettiest of the family and one of 
the most lovely girls in the world from all accounts has just married 
a Presbyterian parson (!!!!! expressive of disgust) Sam I didn't 
say damn or think it. I could not do justice to the subject. 
Imagine such a sweet creature, rich too, throwing herself away on 
a Presbyterian parson. If he were a good high church Episcopalian 
I wouldn't mind, though a naval officer would be better, — but an 
old blue. I made myself agreeable to Mrs. Webb, that is to say 
she got talking on a subject she was much interested in and rattled 
away, I only saying enough to keep her going. Her own name was 
Remsen. 

Please tell me in your next letter whether you keep my letters. 
If you do not, return them to me instead of destroying them, as I 
have no doubt that twenty years from this time these mute but 
faithful transcripts of my every thought and feeling will amuse me 
much if they serve no better purpose. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 65 

In New York I saw her long and frequently, that is for two 
days. Sam, it is certainly strange that at the expiration of two 
years and a half, and separated when we were so young, I should 
have retained such a strong hold on that girl's affections. At first 
I was constrained, thinking that she had changed toward me, but 
the instant, that we were alone, we were standing up, I passed my 
arm around her waist and she, as she used formerly to do, leaned 
against me, resting her head on my shoulder as confidingly and 
affectionately as before. Whether I kissed her or not you may 
imagine. But I felt most indisputably proud of her. When I left 
her to come to the Academy, she was as far as I can judge a woman 
in feelings, a child almost in form and guilelessness. Now she is a 
full grown woman, but guileless as ever, and extremely beautiful. 
That she is all my own yet is as plain as the sun at noon day, and 
it is perfectly certain to me that a young gentleman who has been 
paying her great attention had better haul off until she has time to 
forget the buttons, or he will get the mitten. I feel now sure that 
if I am as constant as she my fate in this life is fixed. Between 
sixteen and eighteen I was not, how it may be afterwards I cannot 
say. That she will feel towards me as she does now, unless I 
change toward her, she has shown satisfactorily. A love that lasts 
from sixteen to eighteen will surely last after that age, and then too 
she has all along thought that I had ceased loving her. So you see 
what an impression I made before I entered the Navy. If you go on 
to New York you must go and see her. You know she is my cousin 
and they said at my uncle's when I was at home that they would 
gladly see you. Indeed, if you ever go to New York you must let 
me know of it and I will give you directions which will take you 
where you will be cared for and almost loved for my sake. For I 
believe the thoughts of my whole family turn more towards me 
than to any other member of it, as is natural ; for I am always away 
and must always be separated from them. Father and Mother were 
really disappointed and vexed when I told them I could not per- 



66 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

suade Billy to come on with me. You will, I know, like to see her 
of whom I have spoken so often, but I have given you fair warn- 
ing, so keep your weather eye peeled and don't fall in love with 
her. I have excited great curiosity in Miss Nannie Craven to see 
her. Before I left she told me to give her her love, which I did, 
and she told me to take back hers, which I likewise did. "Well," 
said Miss Nannie, "when is she coming down ?" "I am afraid not 
at all," said I. Miss Nannie's countenance really fell. "I tried to 
get her to promise she would come to our next soiree," said I. 
"Oh, I hope she will," said Miss N., "I would love dearly to see 
her." The most casual observer from the beginning could have 
seen we were boy and girl lovers, for though cousins, and though 
on the best kissing terms with her older sisters, no one ever saw 
us kiss. 

New York, however, like West Point, was too good to last, and 
I must leave it for the present. My hand is pretty well tired, so I 
will leave the account of my journey till later. 

I find on reading my letter over this far that I have left out 
some things that I wished to say. First, I have another disappoint- 
ment to ask your sympathy with. I happened to be telling my 
grandmother that we had some very pretty young ladies in An- 
napolis. She then told me that she had at her school a young lady 
that was perfectly beautiful. Not in the sense the words are ordi- 
narily used, but that there was no feature in her face that any fault 
could be found with, the only difficulty being she was rather petite. 
Of course I was curious to see her, but, seeing no chance of it, the 
thing dropped from my mind. Next day I came in from a walk 
and saw there were some ladies in the parlor, but as Grandmother 
frequently has company whom I do not care to see I passed right 
through to my aunt's room. When I got in she said, "Did you 
look at those ladies in the parlor?" "No," said I. "Well," said 
she, "that Miss Palmley is in there." I never swear before ladies, 
Sam. Considering her beauty I had quite a compliment paid me. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 67 

I had my uniform on, for I could not get citizens', and her mother, 
who was with her, naturally eyed me pretty hard. Grandmother 
said, "I think he is like your daughter ; he is my grandson." "Do 
you know," said her mother, "I was struck by the likeness the in- 
stant that young fellow came in the room." So that is the second 
beautiful young lady I have been told I resemble. The first was 
"her" sister, who is my cousin by marriage and many say enough 
like me to be my sister. I shall begin to be quite vain of my good 
looks. 

While in New York I was measured for my outfit. I think I 
shall have to put her under contribution to make me something. 
One of my aunts was anxious to know what I would have for a 
Christmas gift. I told her I wanted nothing but she insisted I 
must have something. So I told her I would like a pair of kid 
gloves. She quite scouted the idea and insisted on giving me 
four pair, which will last me very well through the year. 

On Thursday morning I left New York by the eight o'clock 
train. It had snowed the evening before so I expected we might 
have some trouble making our connexion, but we did not. I had 
laid in a bountiful supply of good cigars and I smoked myself 
nearly blind coming on to make up for the five months of coming 
deprivation. In Philadelphia a fiery looking little chap with red- 
dish brown whiskers and a naval cap came and sat down by me. 
He noticed my cap and I saw was curious to learn who I was, so I 
unbuttoned my overcoat "accidentally" and showed my vest but- 
tons, and in a minute he said, "I suppose you are from the Acad- 
emy, are you not?" I said "yes." Then he said he was just from 
Panama and as I knew the St. Mary's officers had just been re- 
lieved I asked if he were one of them. "No," said he, "I am flag 
lieutenant of the Home Squadron." I had heard Mick Farland 6 

e Probably meant for McFarland. John McFarland entered the Academy 
in 1857 and graduated in 1861. He died in 1874 with the rank of lieutenant- 
commander. 



68 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

speak of a Lt. Magaw, 7 flag luff of the Home Squadron, so I asked 
him if he knew him, and I immediately saw I had fallen on the 
right man. He and I joined company as far as Baltimore, where 
he stopped. His ideas of the Academy were rather strange, at least 
to me. "Do they let you drink down there?" said he. "No." 
"That is whiskey and brandy, I suppose ; they let you drink wine ?" 
"No, Sir." "No ! That is a hell of a Navy ! Why, now suppose you 
were to get a demi-john of wine up here in Baltimore to take to 
your friends, wouldn't they let you do it?" "They would very 
likely dismiss me if they found it out." "That's not right," said 
he. "Now you young fellows will leave the Academy and the first 
Englishman or Frenchman you meet will put you under the table. 
To this day if an Englishman invites you to his mess it is with the 
intention of making you drunk if he can." Altogether poor Mr. 
Magaw seemed dreadfully distressed at this part of our education. 
"Well, do they let you smoke?" "No." "Eh, that's bad." How- 
ever, he offered me a cigar. He says he thinks the midshipmen and 
lieutenants should mess together ; he is very fond of midshipmen. 
He is of Waddell's date and sent remembrances to him. These 
lieutenants of the old school possess too strongly the principle of 
association. They dislike the midshipmen of the present day be- 
cause they are not like those of their own time. They dislike to see 
the steerage of a man of war change ; it is like the loss of an old 
friend. The great faults they find really are, that mid n . now are 
cleaner, fare better, and are older than formerly, and instead of 
being cheek by jowl with the men, they prefer to tete-a-tete with a 
lady. These faults must, an ancient luff will tell you, be attended 
with a want of seamanship, and their argument, though not a 
clincher, is unanswerable. "In my time," says Mr. Magaw, "we 
learned little points of seamanship because we were always clam- 
bering up the rigging, and so picked them up." "If I had my 

7 Samuel Magaw, of Pennsylvania, entered the naval service in 1841 
and at this time was a lieutenant. He retired as commander in 1868 and 
died in 1884. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 69 

way," says Mr. Magaw, "I would not let a man learn French or 
Spanish, because if he has a difficulty with a Frenchman or a Span- 
iard he will not write him a French or Spanish despatch but in his 
own language." These two arguments are on a par. Those little 
points of seamanship that those officers talk of they have all for- 
gotten, don't do them a damned bit of good and never will. How- 
ever, good-bye to Mr. Magaw. 

I reached Annapolis at about half past seven. I had to walk 
from the depot in a dirty, drizzling rain and in the remnant of what 
up home had been a snow storm. I did not report my return until 
taps, as I wanted to visit at Craven's and Simpson's. Miss Nannie 
would certainly have brought me to her feet but for two reasons : 
First, I remembered her ; second, that damned little Jennie Roget 8 
was there. However, I was welcome, for I brought a letter from 
Bob Eastman 9 and could give the last accounts. Miss Nannie had 
her hair curled, which made her look very pretty indeed, but I had 
seen a more beautiful one lately, and had felt her arms round my 
neck and her kiss on my lips too recently to feel any other flame. 
From Miss Nannie's I went to Simpson's and saw the ladies there, 
and after that I turned in ; and so ended my leave, etc. To say that 
I enjoyed myself will be useless, for I know you must feel that I 
did so. But still there is a je ne sais quoi about being home, that 
you, having once been home, can understand without description. 
This is my first leave worthy of the name, the last probably that I 
will have for three years. I regret it much, for my grandmother, 
who is devotedly attached to me, is now seventy-two, and at that 
age life to say the best is very uncertain. "Young people may die, 
old people must," and although longevity runs in our family, I 

8 This probably refers to Professor Roget, calling at Captain Craven's 
at the time. No other family of this name appears to have been at the 
Academy or in the town of Annapolis in Mahan's day. 

9 Robert Eastman, Major in the U. S. Army, belonged to a much earlier 
time and was in active service in the Army, stationed in 1859 in Utah 
and in Washington, D. C. Mahan may have seen him at West Point or in 
Washington in passing through. He was a brother of Thomas H. Eastman. 



70 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

must fear that I have seen her for the last time. And yet to see her 
you would not think [her] over sixty-five, and from her motions 
not over sixty. 

Cenas saw Welsh 10 in Washington and we will sail together, 
but the thing is to be kept quiet. We will be ordered to sea as soon 
as we graduate, they need us immediately. Eastman's class has been 
ordered home. Harris, 11 I am told, and his crowd are back. East- 
man's orders have been sent. 

I was much surprised after dinner yesterday by receiving a 
letter in an unknown handwriting with a lump in one corner. Full 
of curiosity I opened it and found it was a letter from a cadet to 
whom I had given a glowing description of Miss Julia Kent. He 
said that he had some cousins by the name of Kent in Annapolis 
and he was sure she was one of them and he begged me to give 
her his love with the enclosed cadet button, and to say he hoped to 
be on in the succeeding June. It will be a damned hard job if he 
gets among the other crowd of Kents as cousins, and I am going 
to send button, note, and all to Miss Julia, who has just left town. 
By the way, Billy tells me that Hackett went to see her in Baltimore 
drunk, and she told him he was intoxicated but he could not re- 
member whether she said so jestingly or in earnest; that [is], in- 
dignantly. How can a man be so foolish as to trust himself in a 
warm room when he has been drinking hard. Claiborne says that 
when Hackett came into his room he looked dreadful. 

Cenas went to spend some time with Schley; he will probably 
speak of it when he writes. Quack Farquhar gave Miss Nannie 
a Christmas present. I wish mother had done as she intended and 

10 Probably Charles W. Welsh, of Massachusetts, chief clerk of the U. 
S. Navy Department. At the present time the chief clerk would hardly 
know anything of naval assignments, but at that time he was much nearer 
the professional side of the Department and may have had at hand the mid- 
shipman list. 

"Joseph Whipple Harris entered the Academy in 1852 and graduated in 
1856. His class had now returned for examinations and higher rating. 
Harris died with the rank of lieutenant in August, 1861. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 71 

sent one on from herself. My flame for Miss Nannie has "gone 
to hell a fluking." But still if she would be my sister I would 
gladly be brother, cousin or what she pleased to be. Besides, 
I am obliged to her for starting me studying. I am now at the 
hospital, but Billy has shouted up to me that I am one in Seaman- 
ship, and three in Navigation. 

I thought when I saw your last letter, which reached me at 
West Point, that you were rather getting ahead of me, here you 
are though beaten. Nineteen pages and a half is a very fair-sized 
epistle. Please number your pages when you write. And in your 
next letter say whether you keep mine or not ; if you forget this 
my next to you will be simply, 

"Do you keep my letters or not ?" 
Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 

Billy sends love. Cenas I have not seen. 

P.S. Cenas saw Miss Adams when he was in Baltimore. She 
says she was very much disappointed in Mr. Mahan, that she liked 
him very much at first, but saw some things she didn't like in him 
very much. Her dislike was quite suddenly taken. 

I was speaking to Mother about her when I was home, for 
Mother knows all about this, and for a wonder thinks almost as 
much of her as I do. I feel that she is very sensitive and is very 
much annoyed when I write of these Annapolis girls, not that she 
thinks anything of it herself but her friends tease her about it, for 
most of our few mutual friends know the exact state of things. I 
firmly believe it, speaking dispassionately, to be the best thing in 
the world for me. You know my temperament to be a jealous and 
exacting one. She is one who would bear with it, not tamely and 
with want of spirit, but in a way to make me ashamed of myself. 
If you could only see her, Sam, with her hair falling over her 



72 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

shoulders and shading her face, I am afraid you would not dare 
call your heart your own for five minutes. Do you remember the 
spray of flowers I bought in Madeira? Well those have been 
greatly admired by all the ladies at home. I gave them to her, 
sending them on by mother when she was here. She wore them the 
other evening at a party and they were greatly admired. So you see 
my taste is confirmed by the "agreeing voice of women of all ages." 
Not generations, but ages. Ergo, I am a man of taste. 

I think I will now pipe below, for if you are not tired reading I 
am writing. So adieu. 

P.S. No. 2. I asked about the visit of John Brewer when I 
returned. Miss Nannie said he staid till half past eleven. Her 
brother says he was there next day when he awoke. It was nine 
o'clock when I entered the house. {Vide opp. page). 

P.S. No. 3. In one of your last letters you used the Latin "lapsi 
plumae" ; lapsus being 4th declension, that should be "lapsus 
plumae" A Sailor correcting a Lawyer in Latin ! 

For God's sake keep this letter. It is a complete history of one 
of the pleasantest parts of my life. I forgot to say that I took 
dinner with the Cadets while at home ; they fare pretty damned 
badly. The officers don't have end seats, and they pitch their hats 
and coats on the floor between them, and dig in. 

Carter has had an attack of blood spitting. I expect he is very 
delicate. I saw a cousin of Farringdon's 12 at West Point. He bids 
fair to follow the same path ere long. 

This letter is preposterously long, and I'll be damned if I write 
any more. Good-bye. 

Dearest Sam : 

Your kind letter has been received, and I will answer it as soon 
as possible. I sincerely hope that your afflictions are nearly if not 

13 This name should be Farrington in all places in which it appears in 
these letters. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 73 

over by this time. Did you spend a merry Christmas and a happy 
New Year? More anon from 

Your aff. friend, 

H. Cenas. 

Naval Academy, 
Jan. 9, 1859. 
Dear Sam, 

You will have to content yourself with a short letter today, as I 
am and have been very busy. The Academy is in statu quo and I 
suppose will be so without break until June next. I am very 
anxious to get two days' leave, say from Friday afternoon to Mon- 
day morning, to visit a cousin of mine in Wilmington, Del. Every 
one who sees her says she is the most beautiful woman they have 
ever seen. I received a letter from her on New Year's day saying 
she had been too unwell to be at the depot as I passed through, and 
that she begged me to try and run up there if I could manage in 
any way to get leave. It is two years and a half since I last saw 
her. She is my cousin by marriage, my uncle having married her 
mother ; she was violently opposed to the match, as a child naturally 
is, and hated me, according to her own accounts, but now I believe 
she loves me more than her own brothers. Her letter was full of 
affection. 

We had a lecture last night from Mr. Forde. 1 His subject you 
perhaps know was Sir Walter Raleigh, rather worn out, is it not ? 
The composition was very good, in some parts really beautiful, but 
his delivery was very poor, hurried and indistinct. The ladies 
could not understand him at all, and I found it rather difficult at 
times. Still, as a first attempt I should say it was a success, and it 
certainly interested me, as very few lectures can do. I accom- 
panied the Miss Brewers to it. After the lecture we called at 
Carter's, where Miss Kate did our talking, and Miss Lucy and I 
1 Thomas G. Forde, Assistant Librarian at the Academy. 



74 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

quietly ensconced ourselves in a corner and said nothing to any- 
body except to each other. 

Butt 2 has come back from his week's leave, firmly set upon 
resigning. He has written to his uncle in Oregon to know if there 
is anything he can find to do out there. That will make only 19 of 
us. Bigelow 3 of the 52 date is down here and was in chapel this 
morning. I of course don't know him. Old Slicky made himself 
very interesting in Chapel this morning comme de coutume. It was 
the first time I had heard him in four weeks, would it were the last. 
They tell me that he made a very beautiful allusion to Farringdon's 
death last Sunday, but I was not there, being sick. We had a most 
ridiculous scene in Chapel this morning. After Jones had finished 
his sermon he knelt to make his usual prayer, but the organist, 
thinking that service was over, started the voluntary. Great sen- 
sation of course. Old Slicky looked up from his knees like a dying 
martyr, the midshipmen convulsed, ladies blushing and your hum- 
ble servant in serious doubt as to whether his ribs would keep his 
sides from bursting. However the organ was finally stopped, the 
prayer read, and the appearance of decorum restored, though many 
a stifled titter bore witness to the scene that had passed. 

It is immensely cold here, my fingers are so numb that I can 
hardly hold my pen, and, the ink in my room being nearly frozen, I 
have just gone into Billy's. What do you want to know about this 
infernal hole? Simpson has just started an idea of making the 
first class in turn fire ten shots each at the target, a journal being 
kept of the accuracy and rapidity with which they are fired, but 
there can be but little fairness in it, owing to the uncertainty of the 
wind. Poor me! I am destined to be a persecuted individual 
through life, I expect. Simpson expects my crew to do as well as 

a Butt did not resign at this time. He graduated in June, 1859, but 
resigned to go with the South in 1861, as stated elsewhere in these notes. 

3 George A. Bigelow graduated in 1856 and was now back with the class 
of 1852 for examinations and higher rating. He served through the war, 
but resigned in 1867. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 75 

the rest, and yet the others exercise on an average twice or three 
times a week and yesterday my crew worked with me for the first 
time in six weeks. You know that the class is divided into two 
squads for fencing, when one squad is at fencing the other works 
the guns, as captains, hence my crew never works as a crew, the 
few 2nd and 3rd and 4th classmen being divided among the other 
crews. 

My visit home seems to have given my friends as much pleasure 
as it gave me. I believe that the whole family think more of me 
than any other one member of it. I think I could name three per- 
sons who think more of me than of anyone else in the world. My 
grandmother, aunt & She. It is a fortunate thing that I have 
friends at home if so few here. 

I am going to stop here now, am anxiously waiting for a letter 
from you. Excuse my bad writing, etc. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 

P.S. Enter Congress soon, and have our pay raised to a decent 
amount. 

January 23rd, 1859. 
Dear Sam : 

To day I am going to write you my accustomed Sunday's letter. 
As I told you I had not time to do it last week. I am in a sad state 
of mind just at present, and want you to go to Congress for 
another reason, namely, to pass a law by which a man can have two 
wives. I fairly plead guilty to being on the point of surrendering 
at discretion to Miss Nannie. It is too damned bad too. I was just 
succeeding in hardening myself into the most complete difference 
when the little witch becomes very suddenly very kind to me, and 
my good resolutions vanish like "snow before a summer sun." 
Dunker Ames happened to say to me last night when I said I had 
no hopes of making any impression upon Miss N. on account of 



76 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Harrison, that Harrison seemed to be rather afraid for himself on 
my account. Seriously, I almost think she likes me, for she acts 
differently towards me to what she does towards others. Never- 
theless, I don't think she can run any chance alongside of the New 
York fair. I am going to send her an invitation to the next mid- 
shipman's ball and Miss Nannie is very anxious to add a note on 
the other side of the "invite," which I am of course very willing 
she should do. 

Did I tell you I had received a letter from a cadet at West 
Point who professed to be deeply smitten with my description of 
Miss Julia Kent? He thought she was a cousin of his. I sent the 
note to her, received an answer and forwarded it to him. A day 
or two since I received an answer from him. He says that at the 
last January examination on Mathematics "he fessed on a clean 
board, but just 'ragged' things the next day in French; however, 
as Anna Lytical was old Church's darling, he was found cold." 
Fortunately, he received a second examination, and, under the 
stimulus of the beauty and condescension of his newly acquired 
cousin, soaked like hell and succeeded in passing fifty-eight out of a 
class of fifty-nine in Mathematics. He installs la belle as his 
patron saint and vows to make a pilgrimage to her shrine next June 
and deposit as an offering cadet buttons of their three different 
patterns. 

We have resumed old Lockwood's drill after a long intermis- 
sion. Henry has got a new hobby in his head, namely, the manual, 
and kept us standing the other day in the cold to perform. It is 
very tiresome to stand in one position so long and some how I got 
my dander up and would not budge, though my back was nearly 
broken. I am officer of the day tomorrow, with the possibility of 
a young lady who is a good deal admired coming into the yard to be 
shown around. I don't know her yet, but suppose an introduction 
will readily be effected. Old Chauvy has given us some damned 
examples for tomorrow, which I thus escape. 






To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 77 

You will receive Kelly's 1 letter through Claiborne before this 
reaches you. I have written him to suggest a remodelling of 
Japanese houses. It is astonishing what a quantity of odds and 
ends of things suggest themselves to me in writing to him, my only 
correspondent abroad. So many trivial things happen in a few 
months that I yet imagine must interest a man who is away. We 
have had letters here from Howell 2 and Franklin 3 who seem to be 
enjoying themselves ; they had reported the captain for not giving 
them the forecastle and keeping them on the quarter deck while 
the master mates did duty. The Commodore gave him a rap over 
the knuckles for it. At Alexandria the Macedonian moored ship, 
unbent sails and all the officers had six days' leave. They are 
talking of various changes here in the Academy. Captain Blake 
expects to have put up by next year quarters for a hundred and 
sixty more midshipmen. Thank God I won't have to go in the 
practice ship of those times. The contemplated cruise for next 
summer is Portsmouth, Lisbon, and Gibraltar. 

It is of no use for me to try to write about one thing while my 
head is running on another, that other happens just now to be 
Nannie Craven, she did look too damned sweet and pretty when I 
was there this morning after Slick's sermon. It was like water 
unto the dry ground to come near one so interesting after that dry 
old mummy, and I managed to secure her unto myself during the 

1 John W. Kelly entered the Academy in 1853 and graduated in 1857. 
Mahan and Ashe knew him the last two years he was at Annapolis. At 
the time this letter was written he was midshipman on the steam frigate 
Mississippi in the East India Squadron. He was lost in the Tecumseh 
in August, 1864. 

3 John Adams Howell belonged to the class of 1854 and graduated in 
1858. He was now on his first sea assignment, serving, with his classmate 
Charles Love Franklin, on the U. S. sloop Macedonian, in the Mediterranean 
Squadron. Mahan and Ashe had known both at the Academy. Howell 
died in 1918, with the rank of rear-admiral. 

3 Charles Love Franklin entered the Academy in 1854 and graduated 
in 1858. He remained in the naval service through life, dying in 1874, with 
the rank of commander. 



78 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

greater part of the morning and she and I built castles most de- 
lightful (to me) of her coming on next summer. 

I want to tell you what a trick Miss Kate Brewer served me. 
The college was to have had a soiree a week ago last Friday, and 
as Miss Kate expected some ladies there she asked me to come and 
accompany them; of course I said I would. Well, the shindy 
didn't come off that night, and so of course I never thought of 
any engagement to the Brewers', as there was none. The next 
week it took place. But that damned Kate told a gentleman who 
asked to be her escort that she was engaged to me and also for the 
first and last dance, etc. I knew nothing of this and when I got 
to the hall she told me of them. Now, what would have made the 
matter worse, I engaged another lady, a cousin of Miss Nannie's, 
to go with me ; circumstances prevented her and I am almost sorry 
it happened so, I would have liked to give Kate a lesson. I per- 
fectly loathe the girls now. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
February 1st, 1859. 
Dear Sam: 

Our Examination commenced to-day and a good day's work has 
been gone through with ; namely the first class in Poppy and the 
second in Mathematics. Ours did very well considering the De- 
partment ; as for myself I had made up my mind to have what little 
loaf I could and that I knew to be little enough, consequently old 
Poppy's truck went begging and I devoted my energies to "Ten 
Thousand a Year." I solemnly swear that I was perfectly innocent 
of having any idea of two out of about six questions that I was 
asked, and what was worse the first question I got knocked me. 
"What's an Areometer ?" Great God of War ! I never heard of 
the article before. "Instruments for measuring streams," began 
I, "are of different sorts." "No. not for measuring streams, for 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 79 

measuring the densities of different fluids." My ruse de guerre 
did not succeed. "What's the Electrical Cascade?" ... I wasn't 
there either; but fortunately I saw a picture in the book as he 
turned the leaf and I jumped at that and described it. Right or 
not I don't know and probably never will. To-morrow we try our 
hand at Joe Nourse. A proposition has been started to go up en 
clergyman with white cravats. The second class, "under the super- 
vision" of Messrs. Schley & Ames, solemnly and with all the honors 
of war, buried a copy of Calculus and Analytical. The turn out 
was elegant. The whole class with inverted broomsticks (sign of 
mourning you know) marched in a decent and reverential manner 
behind the Battery and there and then consigned them to their last 
repose. According to military rule they marched back to an 
enlivening tune nearly resembling "One-Eyed Riley." 

Sam, be very careful in your selection of a wife. Behold in me 
an exemplification of the danger of choosing incautiously even a 
temporary partner, and let my experience as regards a room-mate 
be a beacon light to you. Spencer sometimes, often, makes me so 
damned mad that I hardly know what to do. Thank God I be- 
lieve I know my New York angel pretty well, and if I only love 
her as much as she does me (don't think I have things wrong end 
foremost) I don't see how I could do better. Miss Nannie Craven 
is very sweet I must confess. Went over to see her this evening, 
and, tea being served soon after I got there, I accepted old Tom's 
invitation and went in with them. Craven I really believe likes 
me & thinks a good deal of me. Father paid me a flying visit last 
Thursday and of course called on Craven, as they had shown 
Mother so much attention when she was here. When he was 
leaving he said, "Captain, I hope you will keep this boy straight 
while he stays here." "Well, Sir," says Tom, "He's got straight 
now and I hope he can't get crooked again." The next day I was 
reported for visiting. I wrote an excuse which Craven did not 
accept, I think rightly, for though I think I really did not deserve 



80 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

the demerit Law cannot always be Justice. I went into the Recita- 
tion Hall to see about it, and met old Tom there. He called me & 
spoke very kindly, saying that if he accepted one he would have to 
take a hundred such excuses every day. God bless his honest old 
soul! When I saw him & Father sitting together the other day I 
could not help thinking, "There are the two men whom I reverence 
most in the world together." I had never expected them to meet 
& was delighted to have them. Miss Nannie is an enigma to me, 
and though many of the midshipmen think they understand her 
well and know just whom she prefers I think they are mistaken. 
Of all whom she is supposed to favor, by different conjectures, I 
have spoken to her, and never has she changed color, hesitated, or 
shown the least confusion. Farquhar, she tells me, is a great 
favorite of hers. What surer proof could you have that her affec- 
tions are free toward him? Harrison, she tells me, laughingly, 
and without the least embarrassment, is reported to be engaged to 
her. Nary chance for Mr. Harrison. Tayloe, I think, stands the 
best chance. Read I know to be such an ass that I can't believe 
she is attached to him ; of course as I don't speak to him I never 
speak of him to her. Quant a moi, she tells Ames she likes me very 
much, a gentle expression, and, as she expresses dislike very freely, 
shows that she can abide me. She don't dislike me. My own 
observation tells me that she treats me brusquely, almost rudely, at 
times ; and last Saturday when I was there, there were some apples 
and cake brought in. You have probably seen apple seeds named 
with ladies' names for gentlemen to tell fortunes, as it were. I 
asked her to name mine twice. She did so of course and each 
time, when I pointed to a seed & said, "this one I cast away," she 
said, "that's me." I have bothered myself more about that, as 
being a singular coincidence or else a sort of a gentle way of say- 
ing, "you have left me altogether since you have been to New 
York," than about anything else in a long while. To solve my 
problem I am going next Saturday in hopes of having apples pro- 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 81 

duced again & if she again says, "that's me," then I shall answer 
her. I hope you are not thinking "that Mahan's a damned con- 
ceited ass." I fear I am, Sam, but it's not my fault. In the last few- 
years I have had far fewer kicks and far more compliments than 
enough to turn a poor middy's head. Regarded throughout the 
Academy as the smartest man in the class, and the prettiest girl in 
Annapolis wanting to know why I won't pass one, as she did 
to-night; told frequently of my good looks and complimented 
sometimes by ladies in society, to my great annoyance really, and 
which I always slue over as quickly as possible, although I have 
the greatest contempt for my vanity, yet I cannot escape knowing 
that they only tell me the truth. There it is again you say. Well, 
now, this evening Miss Craven's cousin asked me my age. I told 
her. "Why," said she, "you are only as old as my brother, I 
thought you were much older, you are so much taller and then 
your manner" — here I interrupted her, for, disguise it as you may, 
to tell a boy of my age that his manners indicate him to be older 
than he is, is a complement, and I don't know how to take it. Miss 
Julia Kent did the same thing, speaking of some one's saying that 
Miss Adams had brought me out when she was here. ''True I told 
them," said she, "that I did not think Mr. Mahan needed much 
bringing out." In fact, to acknowledge my true estimate of myself, 
I think I am very good-looking, very talented, and a favorite in 
society, and with more moral character than nine-tenths of the 
mid n . in the school, and I also feel that I would give anything if to 
this were added in its highest degree the Christian virtue of hu- 
mility. I do not, however, think that my self-conceit, a quality 
which you will remember I have always owned up to, is disagree- 
ably conspicuous. 

"Do you ever read the Bible? What a beautiful passage this 
is that I met the other day in a book. "Or ever the silver cord be 
loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at 
the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern — Then shall the 



82 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto 
God who gave it." And what more sublime than the fortitude and 
courage of Job when he had lost all — "Naked came I out of my 
mother's womb and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave 
and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." 
Sam, I am not religious but does it need religion to appreciate the 
beauty & sublimity of such poetry as that?" 

Good-bye. I have a good deal to attend to by Taps. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 



Naval Academy, 
February 7th., 1859. 
My dear Friend : 

Our examination is over, standing up and studies recommenced, 
and now we are fairly under weigh for June. You will, I know, 
be glad to hear that I passed one in Joe Nourse and one in Poppy, 
the only things we were examined in. Hale read it this way: 
Averett : Natural Philosophy — Moral Science — Borchert : — , — , 
without specifying the studies after the first name, so it was 
Mahan : one — one. I was greatly surprised at Joe's passing me up 
from three to one, and my dear friends in the first crew I don't 
believe liked it much. 



The Navy Department has sent down an order allowing persons 
to attend church in town when their parents are unwilling for 
them to go to the Chapel. I had rather go to Slicky than walk into 
town for nothing. Yesterday the Presbyterian parson preached for 
us. He gave a very good sermon, a little too much hell-fire and 
damnation in it. I can't stand what looks like an effort to bully 
you into religion. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 83 

They make Religion be abhorred 

That round with terror gulf her, 
And think no word can please the Lord 

Unless it smell of sulphur. 

I have never yet heard a minister who preached the Word of God 
as I should wish to preach it if I were one myself. A man who is 
religious because he fears to go to hell is as despicable as one who 
remains irreligious because he fears the world's opinion. And 
then again the appeals that they make to our gratitude for His 
favors ; they can never be well received by an irreligious person. 
It is remarkable that the poor, that is the wretchedly poor, receive 
favors and kindnesses as their due, or, worse yet, as actual wrongs, 
and it is not until they are roused from their moral torpor by the 
sunshine of comparative prosperity that they begin to show a sense 
of what they owe to their benefactor. So it is with the really 
irreligious person, and the ministers of that Gospel whose end is 
to call "not the righteous but sinners to repentance" should adapt 
their means better to that end. My idea of the loveliness of re- 
ligion is the thought of a being who shows his love less in the 
physical comforts of this life, than in sympathy for our sufferings, 
and I believe that the great God would rather have us look on Him 
as a friend than as a benefactor. 

"Pretty fair sermon, that," I hear you groan in your weariness. 
My dear young friend, I passed one in Moral Science, and read a 
most comforting discourse on the "Rules for Moral Conduct" be- 
fore the Naval Academic Board which I sincerely hope they will 
lay to heart for the good of their spirits. It's a fact, it was so much 
like one of Slicky's sermons that I came near snuffling while I 
delivered it and half expected to hear an almighty tarnation oath 
arise from the Academic Board and wing its way to hell. 



84 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Hackett is again President of the Lawrence. Pinkney's 1 ad- 
dress has been published. I suppose Billy will send you a copy. If 
he don't I'll try to think of it myself. Farquhar ran for Vice 
President, but was beaten by Hoole. 2 I think the society is rather 
seedy. Cenas has resigned. Hall left some time ago. As for me, 
Sam, I yawn whenever I think of sitting there for four mortal 
hours. I think you should have addressed the meeting, as your 
father wished. I think a man must feel elevated as he says, "Fel- 
low citizens," and turns around to look at the motley crowd usually 
assembled on such occasions. 

I had a letter from Mother today telling me of a young man 
who graduated at West Point last June. He was attacked with 
bilious fever and vomiting strained the nerve of his eye so much 
that he has become entirely blind. Then he was attacked with en- 
largement of the heart and suffered dreadfully. Mother says she 
does not think he can recover. He had been married a few months. 
When I think that a year ago he was looking forward to June as 
we now do, I shudder to think what may happen to chill even with 
death the bright hopes that we are now indulging. Who knows how 
many of us in a year may be of that mysterious throng who sailed 
from their ports and were never heard of more. 

Pretty blue winding up for a letter — however, goodbye. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 

1 Dr. Ninian Pinkney, referred to in a previous letter. 

3 James Lingard Hoole, of Alabama, was in the class below Mahan's, 
entering the Academy in 1856 and graduating in 1860. In 1861 he resigned 
to cast his lot with the Confederacy. At Roanoke Island, in February, 1862, 
he was severely wounded in the head. He was second lieutenant on the 
C. S. S. Florida when she left Brest in 1864, but in April of that year the 
commander of the Florida wrote to Hoole, detaching him from the vessel 
and stating that the surgeon informed him he was totally unfit for service 
and that further sea duty might cost him his life. He was a brave man, 
highly commended by his superior officers at the time he received his wound. 
Apparently he never fully recovered from his injury, as he died in August, 
1866. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 85 

P.S. For your benefit 3 I give an extract from Craven's Report. 

"Owing to the very boisterous weather which commenced 
almost immediately after our departure from the Chesapeake and 
continued during the entire passage to Cherbourg and Cadiz, the 
very uncomfortable and wet condition of the ship, and the general 
disability of the young gentleman by seasickness, much of our 
time/' etc. 



Naval Academy, 
February 14th, 1859. 
Dear Sam : 

I am injuring myself by attempting to write to you to-day, or 
rather to-night, for I have a hell of a lesson in Chauvenet for to- 
morrow ; however, damn the difference, you shall get your weekly 
dose in the shape of a letter. Besides, I can afford to lay back a 
little on an average of 4 all round last week, which curious phe- 
nomenon actually did happen. Marcy was away and we recited to 
Simpson in Seamanship, from which it came to pass that your 
humble servant came by the aforesaid 4. Old Chauvy, too, gave 
me a 4 and Greene only 3.9. Oh my ! a la Conally I 1 

We are to have a soiree on Friday night. I shan't send you 
an invitation. To this one I am going and my card is already 
pretty damned well filled up. Hackett wrote to Miss Julia Kent 
to ask the pleasure of her company to the shindy, etc., but I wrote 
by her mother the day before ; the consequence was 

3 On the practice cruise in 1858 Ashe suffered from violent attacks of 
seasickness and his cousin James Iredell Waddell, who was on the ship 
with him, advised him to resign on account of the handicap, which would 
unfit him for regular sea duty. Mahan jokingly refers to the affliction in 
several of his early letters to Ashe. 

1 John K. Conally entered the Academy in 1857, but resigned. He fought 
on the side of the South during the war and was a colonel in the North 
Carolina cavalry. 



86 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

When Hackett got there 

the cupboard was bare, 

And so poor Hackett had none. 

I have three dances with Miss Anna Franklin, whom you may re- 
member we used to devil Hackett about when I first came here. 
She is decidedly the prettiest girl in town. All that know her of 
the midshipmen liken her to a cherub and she has one of those 
bright beaming, laughing faces that everlastingly play the devil 
with a man. Some fellows here have started a yarn that I am in 
love with Miss Craven, but it is a mistake, and recently she has 
apparently taken a dislike to me. I am going to stick to it, though, 
for I am a great deal piqued. 

Old Slicky Jones is getting more and more stupid every day. 
I went to sleep yesterday, though for so short a time that nobody 
noticed it. He was ineffably tedious on the subject of conversion, 
revivals, et id genus omne of religious humbugging, and told 
some yarns that drew from me the pious ejaculation of "Tell that 
to the marines !" I cock my eye at him at times, forgetful of the 
fact that old Blake has me right under his eye. 

I have found out where Nannie Craven got the idea that I was 
the smartest man in the class. Little Harry 2 was here the other 
evening, and, talking to me, wanted to know why I didn't pass one. 
"You can do it," said he. "How do you know?" said I. "Oh, Pa 
says you can." 

Joe Nourse has just sent down his lesson in Kent 3 for to- 

2 Henry Smith Craven, son of Capt Thomas Tingey Craven, was four- 
teen years old at this time. Mahan refers to him in these letters as "little 
Harry." He became a civil engineer in the Navy and performed notable 
service. At one time he was detached to take charge of work on the Croton 
Aqueduct, New York. He died in December, 1889. 

3 James Kent, American jurist and author of Kent's Commentaries on 
American Law, said to be as dependable as Blackstone's Commentaries on 
the Laws of England, was pronounced by one critic the "greatest jurist 
whom this age has produced, whose writings may safely be said to be never 
wrong." A portion of these Commentaries relates to public international 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 87 

morrow, thirty pages. Pretty fair, that, isn't it ? I am beginning 
to change my opinion about law and find it quite an interesting 
pursuit, but I don't think I will ever follow it myself. How little 
is a man's position affected by the amount of study he ever had! 
Now I am not studying any harder than at the beginning of the 
year and yet everything goes smoothly; when I don't know a 
lesson I am not called up ; when I do, down goes a four, and study 
as hard as I may I cannot get above two; — loaf as I may I can 
hardly pass below it. Still, as appearances are favorable at present, 
I am going to soak like h — well, very hard indeed. The expression 
is not original but derived from my friend Ben King, Cadet, West 
Point, New York. 

Farewell. Billy and Cenas salute you. 

Very affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
Feb. 20th, 1859. 
Dear Sam: 

I received your letter on Wednesday last at the hospital, where 
I had to go to get rid of a slight cold, so as to be in good condition 
for the soiree. I must confess I was a good deal surprised at the 
serious way in which you took my religious musings and my heart 
affairs. Of the former I had no idea that you could think my 
thoughts were turning in that direction. I admire the Bible as a 

law. This is probably what Mahan referred to, as only international law is 
taught at the Naval Academy. After Mahan's day there J. T. Abdy, LL.D., 
former Professor of Laws in the University of Cambridge, edited as a 
separate volume the portion of Kent's Commentaries relating to public inter- 
national law because, as he said, "No other writer on International Law is 
so safe, so impartial, and so recognized a guide and authority whether in 
this country [England] or on the continent of Europe or across the Atlantic." 
Kent died in 1847 and as his Commentaries were written nearly twenty 
years before, it is somewhat remarkable that an Englishman of a much 
later day should have regarded him as first authority. 



88 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

book of great beauty, and those passages I cited and others like 
them, as poetry more sublime than you can find elsewhere, and as 
portraying a degree of moral heroism and triumph of principle 
over human weakness that must find sympathy and admiration in 
every manly heart. Totally irreligious as I acknowledge myself to 
be and utterly devoid of any intention or wish to be otherwise, yet 
if I wished a young man to be induced to act from the loftiest 
motives as a man not as a Christian I would make him read the 
actions and words of the great men of the Bible. 

As for Miss Nannie Craven, you may set yourself perfectly 
at rest. There is no danger of her losing possession of her own 
heart, or at least of its passing to me. I do not, I confess, look 
upon flirting as seriously as you do. I do not see why women can- 
not and do not, as men do, form likings, take fancies for a time 
and then forget them. Still my opinions or acts on the subject 
cannot affect Miss Nannie as some one else. Harrison, I think, has 
the precedence of me. I still visit them [the Cravens] very 
frequently and intend to continue doing so during the rest of 
the year, and if I can I still hold to my original intention. 

Our soiree went off very pleasantly and very successfully. The 
ladies all say that they enjoyed themselves very much, and I think 
they ought to have done so. The only inconvenience was that the 
portion of the Mess Hall used was not quite large enough and it 
was rather crowded. The Library and Lyceum were open for 
promenades, and supper was in the room over the Officer's Hall. 
I had the pleasure of accompanying Miss Julia Kent, and very 
queenly did she look. I don't wonder at Billy's and Hackett's ad- 
miration so much. Miss Bradley was also down here. I 

changed my opinion of her face on better acquaintance and think 
she is pretty and very interesting looking. My last admiration, 
Miss Anna Franklin, you have never seen. I made a break for two 
dances with her a week ago and got them. She has a beautiful 
complexion and whenever she smiles the dimples all over her face 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 89 

seem to light up and smile at the same time. I think there is a 
growing opinion that she rather takes the shine off the rest of the 
ladies, Miss Nannie not excepted. I have her permission to visit 
her and intend to avail myself of it soon. I don't know that I could 
give you a description of the ball, or that you would care to read 
it if I did. There were a great many ladies down from Baltimore 
and Washington, and quite a number of gentlemen from the same. 
I must say, though, that I thought the foreign articles were sur- 
passed by those of native growth, and I would set Miss Anna 
Franklin's face against any other in the room. Kane's admiration, 
Miss Carrie Canole, was there and so was her sister and Miss Clara 
Tilton. 1 There was an Army officer there, but I'm sorry to say the 
Annapolitans (or tennes) did not like him. The fact is, and there's 
no denying that, Army officers labor under a disadvantage in this 
place. Miss Kate Brewer is the only lady to admire them and she, 
you know, thinks every one is delightful. 

The same day that I received your letter I received one from 
the young lady in New York whom I have spoken to you about. 
My vanity certainly ought to be flattered by the preference I know 
she gives me, for she seems to be greatly admired and certainly is 
very pretty. I wrote and invited her to our soiree but she said she 
could not come. We are and have long been very intimate, so that 
she tells me anything readily, just as she would her brother, even 
more so, so in the last she told me that she had just refused another 
gentleman, after an acquaintance of four weeks. Rather precip- 
itate wooing on Monsieur's part, but he did not know there was 
such a person as your humble servant in the world. I had not 
heard from her by letter for two years and I was completely taken 
aback by the wonderful improvement in her style. I don't know 
how it may be with you, but I have a great dislike to see anything 
like a want of education in one I am interested in and I was de- 
lighted to see that there was nothing of the sort there, and that I 

1 Clara Tilton, one of the loveliest women in Maryland and sister of 
Major Tilton, U. S. Marine Corps, married Colonel Emory, U. S. Army. 



90 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

had fallen into the mistake of confounding guilelessness with child- 
ishness and want of depth. 

Old Poppy Hopkins is at last abolished. Last week he was 
taken with an epileptic fit and though he has recovered the Doctor 
says he can never be fit for duty again. Accordingly, he has ap- 
plied for and obtained sick leave, and who do you think has his 
department? No other than the Honorable Henry H. 1 They say 
he has commenced by treating nearly all the fellows in the second 
class and playing hell in general. Bull Pup 2 is in an ecstacy, and 
well he may be, for Lockwood is going to let him have his own 

way. Poppy was in church this morning. 

***** 

I am going to choke off now. You will, I think, find my letters 
growing shorter but really I have not the time to write often and 
much. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
^ebRl^Fy- March 2 d , [1859.] 

That is a singular mistake for a first classman to make, is it 
not, Sam ? To put February for March, voluntarily to set himself 
back again a month in his Academic career when so near grad- 
uating. Yet as you see I did it. However, I am better informed 
than that would seem to indicate & I assure you I have not studied 
Chauvenet's mean solar sidereal apparent local Greenwich as- 
tronomical civil time to so little purpose. 

But to change the subject. Since I last wrote nothing of im- 
portance has happened here. We have had a snow storm but all 
traces of it have so completely disappeared that I had nearly for- 
gotten the fact. Annapolis is so unused to excitement of any sort 

Professor Henry H. Lockwood. 

3 "Bull Pup" appears to refer to William R. Hopkins, Assistant professor 
of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 91 

that it seems hardly to have recovered yet from the effects of the 
late midshipmen's soiree. My lady friends, God bless them! are 
so kind & cordial that I find old Annapolis becoming a far more 
interesting place for me that I had ever deemed it possibly could 
be, and I do not hesitate to say that my pleasure at the idea of 
graduating is greatly diminished by the reflection that I will have 
to separate from so many that are dear to me, if I may so speak of 
friends. Last Saturday evening I spent at the Gills'. 1 Cenas & 
Miss Thompson were going to take supper there, so I concluded I 
would drop in after it. I can hardly say I know them yet, but 
there is so much cordiality combined with dignity that I am sure 
we will soon be very good friends. Miss Nannie Craven and I are 
very good friends and get along very well together when there is 
nobody else there. Don't know what to think of her. I can hardly 
believe she dislikes me and yet I don't see what other solution I 
can offer to the difficulty. 

This is an ugly business in Washington. Of course a big ex- 
citement through the country kicks up a small tempest in our little 
teapot, and opinions, pro and con, are expressed with great free- 
dom and self-assurance. My belief on the subject is that leaving 
retribution in such cases in the hand of the injured party is the 
surest way of furthering the ends of justice, viz : the protection of 
men's rights & happiness. The legal punishment for such crimes 
will never be death, and if it were the slow and tedious process of 
the law robs its vengeance of half its terrors ; but when the seducer 
feels that at any place and at any time he may meet the husband or 
brother of his victim and sent without a warning to his great ac- 
count, he will hesitate, and, unless he is peculiarly reckless, he will 
recede. The abandonment of the duel has worked the same effect, 
for it leaves the seducer no chance, no opening for escape. I have 
no doubt Sickles 2 will be cleared by the jury — he certainly should 

1 Home of Miss Ann and Miss Mary Esther Gill. 

9 There are persons yet living who recall the sensation created over the 
whole country when Gen. Daniel E. Sickles, in February, 1859, killed 



92 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

be. McGunnegle said today at the staff table that he did not blame 
Key, 3 but he thinks he ought to have been prepared for his fate. 
The days are getting longer, ninety days only to the first of 
June — sixty-five studying days, thirteen Sundays, and thirteen 
Saturdays. Hurrah ! 



March 5th, [1859.] 

You have no idea what a task it is to undertake writing a letter 
in such a mood as I am & with so little to say. Yet I feel I ought 
to let you hear from me. 

They have just succeeded in getting the Superintendents of 
Buildings in a bad box. They are obliged to hand in a written re- 
port that they have permitted no delinquencies in the buildings 
except as follows Quite a considerable amount of dissatisfac- 
tion prevails in consequence, especially in the second class. 

The newspaper rumors say that a British steam frigate has 
been commissioned to bring Lord Lyons 1 to this country and to 
take back Lord Napier 1 and that she is to discharge her freight at 
this place. Bad spot to get first impressions of America & of her 
people, too, if you don't stay some little time. 

Barton Key for attentions to Sickles' wife. Feeling ran very high. Sickles 
was cleared when placed on trial, which was the verdict generally expected, 
but many sober-minded people, among them some distinguished statesmen 
in Washington at the time who knew all involved in the tragedy, blamed 
Sickles for shooting Key when the latter was unarmed. Some blamed him 
for shooting him at all. Key is said to have exclaimed when he met 
Sickles, "Don't shoot me, Dan. I am not armed." 

3 Philip Barton Key, son of Francis Scott Key, was a widower. He was 
described as the handsomest man in Washington society at the time and a 
conspicuous figure at all fashionable functions. Sparkling, agreeable, gen- 
erous, he was a favorite with both men and women and his tragic passing 
was not soon forgotten. 

1 Lord Lyons succeeded Lord Napier as British Ambassador to the 
United States. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 93 

Upon my word, Sam, I can't find anything to say, so you must 
excuse me, and this short letter. Cenas says he is going to write as 
soon as he gets time. 

Very truly & affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Annapolis, 
March 8th, 1859. 
My dear Sam : 

Your long and pleasant letter reached me this morning and my 
conscience smote me when I remembered the wretched apology 
that I mailed to you on Saturday evening last ; so as it yet wants 
half an hour of study hours I will try to make some amends if 
possible. If my description of my Saturday afternoon & evening 
are as pleasant to you as the scenes themselves were to me I shall 
succeed most amply, but that I fear can hardly be. However, I 
will try and make myself as agreeable as I may. 

I am becoming as devout an admirer of Miss Julia Kent as ever 
Ding Darling 1 was, and, for that matter, I believe, is ; and I believe 
that at present I am rather a favorite with her. She is decidedly 
a superior girl, or young lady, as you like, and it is one of my 
greatest pleasures to sit down quietly to a talk with her. Last 
Saturday I had intended calling and spending a good part of the 
evening at her house, but I received an invitation to Old Tom's to 
pass the soiree, and as Miss Nannie had been asked to Miss Julia's 
the last time I was there, I concluded that Miss Julia would 
be with her then, and asked Cenas to inquire for me. She said that 
she was going, so I called for her and accompanied her. I went 
rather early, and consequently, as she did not intend to go soon, we 
had quite a long talk, which gave me as much pleasure as almost 
any part of the evening (I don't know whether you will believe 
this when I say that Tom gave us a capital cold supper). There 

1 Mahan's classmate Samuel H. Hackett. 



94 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

were several midshipmen, four ladies and Jenny Roget, 2 who 
played the same part as the actors whose place is to fill in the back- 
ground. But now what can I say? The pleasant evenings are 
frequently those that leave no decided impression behind them, 
merely a vague sense of gratification experienced. A game of "Im- 
pertinent Questions" was played wherein the cards decided as 
regards yr. humble servant three points, as follows : That I had 
the most kissable mouth, was the most lovable person in the room, 
and I had not washed my face this morning. For the first I offered 
to back the cards by the trial of their truth by any lady in the room, 
but they all took the cards' word for it. 

Did I tell you that Miss Nannie Craven and her cousin think 
that I am very self-conceited ? They told me so one evening when 
I was there. It was as follows : Sometime ago Miss Nannie had 
promised me that she would tell me if she noticed any fault in me 
and this evening I rallied her upon not having kept her word, when 
her cousin said, "I can tell you one, Mr. Mahan." "Well," said I, 
"what is it?" "Oh," said she, "I am afraid you would get angry, 
but however, if you can guess it I will tell you and anyway you 
have a right to yr. fault." "Is the first letter 'C ?" said I, for I 
knew the fault ladies generally accuse me of. "Yes," she said, and 
I laughed heartily and said I thought they were right ; for really I 
am conscious of having many natural good qualities and that con- 
sciousness is generally called conceit. But Captain Craven heard 
the conversation and pitched into them as soon as I had gone, said 
they had no business to tell me so if it were true, but that worst of 
all it was not true, so you see old Tom took my part against the 
ladies. As I was walking home with Miss Julia Kent on Saturday 
night I laughingly alluded to my conceit in myself and she said, 
"Yes, I have heard persons speak of you as such but / don't think 
so." Billy too says that he never noticed it, and he, you know, is 
very frank. My mother says I am not in the ordinary meaning of 

a The reference is most likely to Edward A. Roget, Professor of 
Spanish. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 95 

the term, but that she supposes my consciousness of my good looks 
and prepossessingness generally makes me desirous to make them 
tell in ladies' company and hence the appearance of conceit, so there 
the matter is. What do you think ? At any rate I knew my fault 
long ago, as you can bear me witness, for I told you of it once at 
the hospital two years ago and you said then you never knew any- 
one freer from it. 

So Hackett is getting tired of McCook, Greene, (e Et Id Genus 
Omne." I don't wonder at it I am sure. It is a pity Ding fell out 
with me. I suited him better than most men in the class, better 
than he himself knew. Averett is not a man of congenial dispo- 
sition to him. He may admire but he cannot be attached to him. 
Moreover, if the face is an index to the mind, Averett's character is 
rapidly changing for the worse. His face is becoming harsh, 
cynical, and forbidding, and with all there is the arrogance, the 
"assumption," so predominant in his character written so strikingly 
in his features that the most heedless observer, the most unskillful 
physiognomist most perceive it. Averett is a moral bully; what 
McCook is physically, Averett is morally to the weaker-minded of 
the class, and no doubt their firm union is greatly owing to this fact. 
Talking to Claiborne the other day he said, "Jealousy and envy are 
predominant, I think, in his disposition. I do not understand him, 
I may do him injustice, but my impressions are very unfavorable." 
That is the substance, not verbatim. When Hackett is aroused 
from his apathy and dares do something against Averett's will, 
there will go their friendship. He may not fall out with him as 
with me, but he will care not at all for him, if he does now. 
Spencer still thinks Averett a demi-god, but you know what a 
damned fool he is so far as an opinion is concerned, and I believe 
he yet regards Averett as the smartest man in the class, though 
every one of sense looks on that as an exploded theory. My room- 
mate nearly drives me distracted, so that I have in him an ever- 
present reason for rejoicing in the approach of June. 



96 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

As to my making up with the fellows in the class that have 
fallen out with me, of course the offer must come from them and 
come as a request coupled with an apology. I look upon this as so 
unlikely a contingency that I don't trouble myself much about it, 
but slwuld it take place I hold with my father that it would be 
beneath my dignity (excuse the hackneyed expression) to treasure 
resentment for a course of conduct so utterly unmanly. "For those 
who have so acted," said father when I last saw him, "you can 
entertain but one of two feelings : Indifference or contempt." At 
the same time, though, I have already forgiven them I hope, not as 
a Christian, an offender, but as a man, a child. I can never forget 
it, and years of sternly tried friendship must elapse ere I can look 
with affection on those who deserted me in the hour of need. What 
infatuation can possess those fellows I cannot conceive. Not one 
of them would dare go to any Army officer and say "Am I right?" 
for he would be treated as a fool. They must feel they are wrong. 

In the whole affair one thing gives me the greatest pleasure 
and that is my father's delight of my course. A man of the sternest 
honor and principle himself, utterly devoid of moral cowardness, 
and that to an extent rare in even determined men, he appreciates 
such a quality in others, and values it above most others, and 
although he says little I know he feels a great deal. After all, 
Ashe, it did require a great deal of moral courage to meet that trial, 
and like many another, now that the conflict is over, I shudder to 
look back on it, though I fell proud in the conquest as much over 
myself as over others. I can rely upon my own force of character 
now, for it has been tested. 

Pray of whom was it Hackett made the remark you alluded to 
in your letter with regard to illiterateness and boasting of acquire- 
ments? I can hardly imagine who at that end it would be likely 
to be. I have been near falling out with Farquhar. That prudent 
gentlemen having, I suppose, satisfied himself that my unpop- 
ularity was likely to continue began to treat me very coldly, where- 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 97 

upon I waxed wroth and stopped speaking to him except when 
forced to. Lately he has become rather more cordial again. It is 
one of the most trying things to my temper having such as he 
giving themselves airs with me. 

The Lawrence literary are to have another lecture from 
Chauvenet in a few weeks, which will be the last of the year. I 
suppose, of course, I will go, and probably as a cheap bargain ac- 
company the "Stormy" unless I can prevail on Swasey to do so; 
he and she are at present mutually smitten. 

Did I tell you that Gil 3 and McCook have had another falling 
out? McC. ran Gil pretty hard, and one day coming down from 
breakfast he took Gil's head under his arm and walked clear down 
to the fifth building with the war-worn veteran in this embarrassing 
and mortifying situation. Gil went into his room to ask him what 
he meant by treating him as he did and McCook, as his answer, 
kicked him out. 

You will doubtless sympathize with me in Miss Kent's leaving 
town for the remainder of the Spring. I have a principle against 
corresponding with ladies, lest I may say something foolish that I 
may afterwards regret, but still I may occasionally write her a line. 
Cenas has warned me that she may flirt, but I am indifferent on 
that score, as I rather like it than otherwise, and I don't think my 
heart easily broken though readily taken. 

My letter is not quite as long as yours. Still, such as it is, I 
send it. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

[Date, winter or spring of 1859.] 

I was very much amused at Miss Nannie the other day, she 
was speaking of smoking at the Academy, and she evidently had 
her opinions on the subject and would stand up to them. What 
3 Mahan's classmate Gilbert C. Wiltse. 



98 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

would I give to see that girl captain of a crew in MacKenzie's or 
Greene's place or Swasey's ! I loved her as she sat there shaking 
that little head and speaking quickly and decidedly and compressing 
her lips, every motion and look evidencing a determination that 
won me immediately. I would give anything to have her know my 
troubles this year, it would have the same effect upon her opinion 
of me that putting your hand on the bulb of a thermometer has on 
the mercury. I believe if anyone were to tell her, especially her 
father, of my conduct that she would look upon me as a brother. 
Mother liked her very much, which was rather extraordinary, for 
she does not usually fancy my taste. 

Did you have to pay anything extra for my letter ? Your last 
had "Due 2" on the envelope. I think I will have to tell you as a 
certain lieutenant in the Navy told the manager of the late soiree 
that it is no fun paying two cents. The flags that were used at 
the soiree were returned to him by express, but from some mistake 
the person who sent them did not prepay it and the lieutenant wrote 
down that he had received the flags but it was no fun paying fifty 
cents. Damn such extravagant men, one would think he was made 
of money. 

Would you have believed it possible ? Billy and Cenas fell out 
last night, thank God they made up again today. Do not you men- 
tion it, however, in your letters, for I want them to forget the 
thing ever happened. Billy told me of it and I expect that it arose 
from Cenas' quickness and his being in a bad humor. 

I think I have told you of our prospects for promotion. I sup- 
pose you know that the 51's are all promoted to masters. There 
are now no lieutenants in the Navy not on duty. Capt. Blake's 
words to me were, "Mr. Mahan, you will be lieutenant before you 
can turn around. The Secretary has written to me to know how 
far the first class are competent to do lieutenant's duty and intends 
to introduce a bill increasing the number the next Session. I said 
all I could, of course." "Well, Capt. Blake," said I, "I suppose 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 99 

your opinions must have been in great measure based on Capt. 
Craven's report. Often was he pleased." "Oh," said he, "he 
spoke in the highest terms of the first class generally." Do you 
know mother liked Capt. B. a great deal and Old Slicky preached 
the best sermon I ever heard from him, so she did not have as bad 
an opinion of either as I wished. 

Dearest Sam, my hand is getting scraggling and I must stop. 
I wish I knew your friends and could send them my love, but as it 
is take it all yourself. 

Yrs affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

P.S. That picture was sent by Graves 1 — one of a few he 
wanted distributed to the old 6th crew. How attached all who sat 
at that end of the table were to the others ! We have not heard 
from Kelly since you left. 

Sunday, '! 

Just before dinner. 

I am going to send this letter this afternoon, my dear friend, 
but I thought I would add a few lines now. The Bible class has 
been formed and I understand that as many as fifty-four were 
present this morning. I wonder how much bootlicking and hypoc- 
risy were mingled with true religious feeling present. I was of 
course absent. Old Slicky carried out his discourse to "seventhly" 
this morning to my great alarm, and then proposed to recapitulate, 
which still further disturbed my equanimity. I am obliged now to 

1 Charles Iverson Graves entered the Academy in 1853 and graduated in 
1857. He remained in the service until December, 1861, when he resigned 
to go with the South. Ashe describes him as of fine appearance and stand- 
ing well in all his studies. After the war he went to Egypt and attracted 
attention by his excellent service. When he was about to return to America 
Col. Charles George Gordon, better known to history as "Chinese Gordon," 
then about to set forth upon his final, ill-fated mission to the Soudan, asked 
Graves to accompany him, but Graves replied, "My eyes are turned home- 
ward." He had evidently known Gordon when the latter was Governor of 
the Equitorial Provinces of Egypt. Upon returning to this country Graves 
lived in Georgia and there died in 1896. 



100 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

go through the motions in church, for Mrs. Blake told Mother she 
wanted to have me help her in making the responses, so I do so. 

I paid all my visits yesterday afternoon, even including Hol- 
land's. Miss Nannie Craven is too sweet to be left in this Acad- 
emy. A little encouragement from her would play hell with my 
heart. I am going to visit there a great deal this year and ask her 
to let me write to her when I leave, but I fear from what I heard 
her say she will not consent to do so ; still as her stated reason for 
not wishing to correspond with a gentleman was that they always 
showed their letters from ladies, I hope my earnest protestations 
may be received. I spent the greater part of the evening at Simp- 
son's with Miss Adams, and, being the first one there, I got the 
seat alongside of her ; afterwards Read, Butt, Dornin and Harrison 
came in. I did not speak to the first two, but I held to my place 
and Miss A. directed most of her conversation to me. I weathered 
them on that tack. Afterward Read came up to have a chat with 
her and spoke to me, and blushed like the devil. I answered him 
and spoke to him while there. I do not know whether he had any 
idea of making up, though of course I will take no notice of such 
advances even if made with that intention. 

Annapolis, 

March 23rd, (1859). 
My dear Friend, 

I received your letter this morning and must beg you to excuse 
me for having neglected you so long, but the fact is, as you well 
know, there is seldom anything going on in this miserable little 
town. Your anticipations with regard to the Curagoa are, how- 
ever, well founded, as it is now indisputably settled that frigate of 
fame is going to visit our benighted city. Lord Napier's sons 1 are 

1 Lord Napier had four sons, all quite young at this time. In Washington 
they attracted much attention by their courtly manners when helping their 
mother to receive. Writing of the period, Mrs. Clement C. Clay, wife of 
Senator Clay of Alabama, tells us that upon such occasions Lady Nina 
Napier and her sons were often likened to "Cornelia and her Jewels." 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 101 

now in town awaiting her arrival and very possibly she may have 
arrived when this reaches you. The townspeople are bent, it seems, 
upon receiving Lord Lyons with all due honor and civility. A 
meeting was held on Tuesday or Wednesday and a committee ap- 
pointed to wait on him at his arrival and tender him a public service 
or something of the sort. They say the poor Lord is a dyspeptic 
and a woman hater 2 and consequently my informant, Julia Kent, 
says she has lost all interest in him. The "Sun" of yesterday says 
that preparations for a becoming reception are being made at the 
Naval Academy, which, as usual, was news to every one within 
the walls. 

As you make no mention of Poppy Hopkins' diplomatic ap- 
pointment I suppose it will be news to you. The Academic Board 
tried to bust him again this February, consequently the old gentle- 
man went to Jeff. Davis 3 to see what he could do for him, and the 
Senator procured him the Consulate of Jamaica. The old gentle- 
man looks as smiling as a basket of chips, reflecting probably that 
he has rather weathered the Academic Board, as indeed he has. 
The place is worth some two thousand a year with house, etc. He 
and Bull Pup are very thick now, and I really believe they have in 
hand some scheme against the Academic Board. I think Poppy is 
of rather a small spiteful disposition and Bull Pup is such an in- 
fernal fool. That recitation room is now a hot-bed of Academical 
treason, Bull Pup and the fellows each trying which can abuse the 
Professor hardest. He speaks in a way that leads me to think, 
jesting apart, that he entertains the hope of bringing forward facts 

2 Lord Lyons was a bachelor. Mrs. Clay, describing the first Senatorial 
dinner given at the British Embassy after his arrival, says that he was such 
a delightful dinner companion and host she was emboldened to remark that 
some charming American girl might not object to becoming "Lyonized." 
The response was ready and decisive : "Ah, Madam ! Do you remember 
what Uncle Toby said to his nephew when he informed him of his intended 
marriage? 'Alas! alas!' quoth my Uncle Toby, 'y° u will never sleep 
slantindicularly in your bed more.' " (From "A Belle of the Fifties.") 

3 Hon. Jefferson Davis, then U. S. Senator from Mississippi. 



102 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

and statements that will oust the whole Academic Board : and if he 

succeeds in doing so I greatly doubt whether he will not be the first 

one to take up the movement. That man is just a perfect child, 

in fact he hasn't as much real knowledge of the world and himself 

as I have. In the most righteous cause in the world Chauvenet 

could gouge the eye teeth out of him and he not know they were 

gone, and in this, to my mind at least a questionable question, he 

stands as much chance as you or I fighting a boa constrictor. 

Chauvenet delivers a lecture tomorrow evening before the 

Lawrence. 

***** 

Since I last wrote to you I committed the most serious infrac- 
tion of the Regulations that I have ever been guilty of, nothing less 
than a deliberate over staying of leave for three hours and a half. 
It was not my fault, however, all those infernal women. 

I am going to begin keeping a journal soon which will be a sight 
to see, though it is not my intention that any mortal being save 
myself shall lay eyes on it. It will be a dark book indeed. My 
most hidden acts will be written in it. My only reason for not 
doing it is the fear lest all my precautions may be of no avail and 
the book be seen by some other. 

***** 

A thought was suggested to me in talking with a lady Saturday 
last that shows my character I believe pretty truly. We were talk- 
ing of Napoleon; I an admirer, she a condemner. And then I 
thought of one of Bulwer's characters in his last novel, a Josiah 
Hartopp, who goes through the world winning every one by his 
kindness. And I thought "To me given the spirit of kindness, 
indeed, when not opposed, but the mighty hand that crushes every- 
thing that stands in its way and the will that makes men giants. A 
fool can trudge through life with kindness, but the great men of 
the world are those of unrelenting heart who tear away and break 
down every obstacle. "Kindness fadeth away, but vengeance 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 103 

endureth." And I believe that my heart once set on a thing every- 
thing save honor, affection, morality, everything becomes subor- 
dinate. 

There are none I believe that find it harder than myself to speak 
severely on light occasions, and that very fact leads me to put more 
faith in my steadfastness when greatly tried. Despotism — every 
great man that ever lived had the nature of a despot. I must have 
spoken very strongly on the subject, for the lady said, "Mr. Mahan 
you frighten me ; what a tyrant you will be." And in my nature I 
feel no sympathy for the oppressed mutineer, no matter if his 
officer felled him on the quarter deck and made him lick up his 
own blood; if he made any reply I would hang him as high as 
Haman. I suppose you think I have been savage enough for once, 
but I assure you I speak but the truth. And you must bear a little 
more if it help you to learn another trait in my character. 

In "Old Mortality" Sir Walter Scott puts these words in the 
mouth of the notorious Claverhouse, the Scotch persecutor and the 
high-souled English officer. He has been compared to a Scotch 
insurgent leader in his recklessness of human life and he says: 
"There is a difference, I trust, between the blood of learned and 
reverend prelates and scholars, of gallant soldiers and noble gentle- 
men, and the red puddles that stagnate in the veins of psalm- 
singing mechanics, crack-brained demagogues, and sullen boors; 
some distinction in short between spilling a flask of generous wine, 
and dashing down a can full of base, muddy ale." Then speaking 
of Froissart, whom read if you have not : "And the noble canon, 
with what true chivalrous feeling he confines his beautiful ex- 
pressions of sorrow to the death of the gallant and high-bred 
knight, of whom it was a pity to see the fall, such was his loyalty 
to his King, pure faith to his religion, hardihood toward his mercy, 
and fidelity to his lady love ! Ah benedicite ! how he will mourn 
over the fall of such a pearl of Knighthood, be it on the side he 
happens to favor or on the other. But truly for sweeping from 



104 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

the earth some few hundred of village churls, who are born but to 
plough it, the highborn and inquisitive historian has marvellous 
little sympathy — as little or less perhaps than John Graham of 
Claverhouse." 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Naval Academy, 
April 1st, 1859. 

I have no intention, my dear Sam, of April fooling you today, 
for this year I can only think of the fact of another month being 
ended, and our being so much nearer the end of this, thank God our 
last year. 

Chauvenet delivered a lecture before the Lawrence on Saturday, 
but I did not attend. I expect that you will not approve of my 
course in this, but the fact is lectures as a rule are a grand bore, 
and as I have the benefit of his gas in the Section Room I con- 
cluded that it was not indispensably necessary to my well being to 
take a dose there. Everything in its place — a true man-o'-war 
maxim. . . . 

It is quite funny to get the ladies here talking of the midship- 
men, they vow there are no young men like them, and they are 
right. Our fast young cits like to appear as such to the ladies, the 
midshipmen who like dissipation have good sense enough to know 
that everything in its place don't mean get drunk in a parlor. It is 
the good effect of the Institution and the Profession ; a naval officer 
of the present day must be a man of the world. If a war comes, 
there may again be enacted the days of never going ashore for two 
years unless to fight. But although the general superficial appear- 
ance of the midshipmen is so prepossessing how few are there 
whom you can lay your finger on and say he will make his mark 
in the world. I thought of that at table the other day looking at 
the first class in my crew. Not one of them will leave his name 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 105 

behind him. They will never excite confidence enough in their 
abilities to give them the chance of the doubtful reputation of a 
tremendous defeat. If Geo. Borchert were ever to get in a tight 
fix he will cause the whole world to ring with his pluck. If he got 
his dander up he would nail his flag to the mast and not give up if 
he were the last man left on his ship. There are very few in our 
class, if any, that could avail themselves of an opportunity for dis- 
tinction. There is a great want of pluck and principle. I don't 
mean mere physical courage, there's enough of that, but of some- 
thing higher and better. And there is no sense of duty among the 
majority, who will therefore never acquire it. A man that has been 
here the time that our class has and does not recognize duty as his 
pole-star, his unerring guide, will never be worth a damn. Hence 
I doubt Averett's efficiency. Naturally qualified for command, he 
has grown up with notions all wrong and perverted and the twig 
that was bent has in his case certainly become the irremediably 
crooked tree. Averett has been an old man since I knew him ; his 
ideas will never change and they are radically wrong. I try in 
vain at times to read the future and see what is going to come out 
of this caldron of discord. Is it possible or probable that these 
men will carry to stations of trust and responsibility such want of 
principle or bad principle as they now have — will some future 
superintendent of this Academy maintain that a first classman need 
not report a first classman ? Or will these very ideas lead them to 
such acts of negligence, and un-officer-like deportment, as to cause 
a future Retiring Board to erase them from a list that they dis- 
honor ? 

These ideas and feelings are the product not of our individuals, 
but of our lamentable national institution and government and 
ideas. Oh, Sam, say what you please, a republic is the damndest 
humbug ever created for times when war is even a bare possibility. 
Until the reign of peace, good- will to men comes, mankind must 
be subject to mankind, and for the preservation of the State this 



106 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

subjection must be absolute, perfect — a principle, a creed. Eng- 
land's greatness arises from this fact, the idea of obedience to the 
powers that be is born, bred and nourished in an Englishman from 
his cradle to his grave, and see their glorious navy. Talk about 
the corruption in the appointment and promotion of officers through 
aristocratic influence; all the nobility of the realm cannot support 
an inferior against a superior officer, and then look at us. And if 
influence there must be is not the influence of gentlemen preferable 
to that of such a scum as the mass of our politicians are? A cap- 
tain says to his lieutenant, "Sir, I cannot give you leave, I need 
you on the ship." Down sits the lieutenant and writes to some 
blackguard politician a statement of his wrongs and grievances, 
"deprivation of liberty, tyranny, unjustifiable oppression," with a 
few more pleas. Up goes the "political influence" to Washington 
and says to the Secretary, "I want this man to have leave," and 
the Secretary says "I will see if it can be done," and generally con- 
cludes it can. Oh, ! if ever I do resign, it will be under 

some such occasion as that. The only foundation of all military 
greatness and discipline sapped, the axe laid at the root of the 
national defence. These influences cause that lack of nerve in our 
service that will be the bane of the country in war. I believe that 
if we do become involved in one, it will take our country ten years 
to recover from the ruin that this one cause, independent of all 
others, will give rise to. We will be thrashed at first and as the 
first broadside is half the battle, so are the first battles half the war ; 
for in no human trials are the moral effects so plainly perceptible 
as in war. Hence the English so often defeated the French, for 
these, whipped at first, for the last three-quarters of the war fought 

to die honorably, not to succeed. And our American 

independence forbids us to cultivate the great virtue that alone will 
save us in the hour of danger, obedience — passive, unresisting 
obedience. It requires virtue and high-mindedness above an Amer- 
ican youth to realize the beauty, the grandeur of the sacrifice in a 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 107 

warrior, to realize that a man shows more nobility of soul, more 
real courage, in patiently suffering even insult and ignominy for 
the sake of his country's good, than by that spirit of insubordina- 
tion and discontent that we falsely denominate pluck or spunk or 
perhaps "independence." Much abused word! In our class even 
Claiborne does not see this, he goes in for resisting at a certain 
point because it is unfair or positive ill-treatment. How much 
grander to say — "It is hard, but for the good of our country, of 
America, I can endure even greater things." Our blessed Savior 
was oppressed and was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth." 
(Isaiah, ch. LIII. Do read it.) Oh, if Christianity would ensure 
that uncomplaining, noble self-abnegation, I would gladly see every 
naval officer a Christian. The fortitude that for the sake of duty 
can withstand or rather patiently submit to privations and woe and 
injustice is nobler, far nobler than the soldier's gallantry on the 

Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 
P.S. I expect you will think I am not such an unresisting, 
obedient officer. But, God willing, I will be. Rome was not built 
in a day, and as my feelings on this subject have grown in the last 

year my Rome's foundation is hardly laid. But , , 

I'll make my inferiors obey me. 

Annapolis, 

April 18th, [1859.] 

Dear Sam : 

It is a long time since I have written to you and in that time 

there has been a good deal doing here, but I think Cenas has told 

you nearly everything, as he wrote since Mr. Foote 1 was tarred 

1 Henry D. Foote entered the Academy in 1856 and was in the class 
below Mahan's. He was dismissed, but it is not clear for what reason. 
He appears to be identical with the man whom a number of the boys tarred 
and feathered, resulting in the dismissal of several. Though all were re- 
instated, some resigned just after graduation, supposedly because of feeling 
over the Foote affair, so that this incident affected the career of a number. 



108 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

and feathered. We are all, of course, anxious to learn the action 
of the Secretary, but it has not as yet transpired. I fear that some 
at least will be dismissed. 

Cenas and myself were on board the Curagoa 2 Saturday. We 
had little wish to see the ship, but Anne Gill was on board — an 
inducement for Cenas — and two or three other ladies drew me, so 
off we went. Didn't see anything of the ship, however, being in 
the ward room all the time with the ladies talking, it was blowing 
very freshly and we had only the little steam tug called the An- 
napolis Packet. I think the ladies were all very glad when they 
found themselves safely on terra forma. I took tea at the Gills', left 
there at 8 o'clock, and, after smoking a cigar at Tate's, went round 
to Waddell's, where there are some young ladies staying. I was 
there about half an hour. Jas. I. and his wife are looking very 
well ; I suppose you know they have a child, I don't know whether 
a boy or a girl. Shepperd 3 came in at the time I was with them, 
and gave me the news that he had obtained permission from the 
Captain for me to accompany him, Chase, 4 and Ford on a visit to 
Miss Julia Kent, who now is in the country ; we were going to 
spend the next day, Sunday, there. From Jas. I.'s I went to 
Craven's and saw Miss Nannie, who was looking remarkably well. 
She is a beautifully formed woman ; no angles, everything is 
beautifully full and rounded. However, damn the women ! is my 
motto. Poor Shepperd is going to be married very soon, in June. 
I wonder whether he doesn't feel rather queer. I really, though, 
without joking, feel a dread of marrying; and my liking ladies' 

3 British warship, referred to in a previous letter. 

2 Francis Edgar Shepperd entered the naval service in 1849. He was a 
son of the Hon. Augustine Shepperd, Congressman from North Carolina. 
Ashe remembers him as an officer of fine character and efficiency. In 
Mahan's day he was Lieutenant and Assistant at the Academy. In July, 
1861, he resigned to go South. In 1862 and 1863 he was attached to the 
Jackson station and commanded the steamer Mobile in the Mississippi. He 
died in Washington, D. C, in 1887. 

4 Richard M. Chase was clerk to the Superintendent of the Academy. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 109 

society so much is only another proof of it, for I don't want to tie 
myself to any particular one. No, Sir-ree ! Free trade and sailors* 
rights don't mean making yourself fast to one woman and revolver 
in hand telling everyone to "stand clear — or you'll get your damned 
head stove in." 

On Sunday at nine o'clock I struck down the walk along side 
which the Rainbow was hauled and found Shepperd waiting there. 
Soon after Ford came down, but narry Chase; we waited and 
waited until ten o'clock, and then, as El Senor Chase saw fit not to 
come, we got under way and stood out to the Bay, with a spanking 
breeze on the quarter, just about the time old Slick was saying 
"Dearly beloved brethren," but alas ! once outside the Light House 
and the wind was ahead, and, as if that was not bad enough, it 
soon died away altogether. Fortunately, as it turned out, we were 
just so far that going out was rather less than returning, so we 
concluded to go ahead, trusting that a wind would arise in the 
evening. There were some darkies with us and we made them get 
out sweeps and drag us into shore, whence we footed our way to 
la belle Julie's. It was about a mile and a half and unused as I am 
to exercise I was pretty well used up. Mrs. Kent met us at the 
door but the younger ladies had disappeared to make their toliet 
when they saw us coming up the road. Mrs. K. understood the 
most likely wants of seafaring men and asked us if we would not 
have some brandy and water, which I regret we answered in the 
affirmative. Presently, however, Miss Julia and her cousin, who 
was with her, came down. After chatting a little while in the 
parlor it was proposed to adjourn out of doors, which we did, and 
damned if you might have not thought that we were wild. There 
was an old barrel in the yard and some impulse induced me to say, 
"Miss Julia, let's see you jump on this barrel." She took my hand 
and Ford's and jumped on and then off — then Miss Owens, and 
lastly nothing would satisfy Shepperd but to do the same thing, 
but, unfortunately, when up there, instead of getting down, he 



110 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

crowed like a rooster and jumped up straight in the air. Down 
he came co-flunk on the head of the barrel and the head of the 
barrel stove in and of course Shepperd went down further than 
he had counted on, and, worst of all, the barrel capsized with him. 
I thought really that I should die. Ford laughed so hard that he 
fell backwards over the barrel, adding to the inextinguishable 
laughter of the ladies, who fairly screamed. Quant a moi, a 
friendly tree supported me, who laughed until I had only strength 
to gasp. The whole afternoon was full of such laughable occur- 
ences. We were all good friends, the ladies favorites of ours, and 
I rather suspect we were not those whom they most disliked and 
we just let ourselves out. I shall never forget Shepperd's going 
through that barrel. He had a bonnet on as he went through 
belonging to the ladies. 

Both Ford and Shepperd treated me very kindly and we 
smoked the whole way going up. I wish that I had the day to 
spend over. 

This can not be very interesting to you though it may to me. 
As it is near time for drill I must close. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

Annapolis, 
May 1st, 1859. 
Dear Sam : 

Our last month begins today, and, as you may suppose, it is 
eagerly welcomed by many a first classman, and by myself not the 
least. Still, the four weeks that remain appear like a very long 
time and I doubt not they will go on with an accelerated slowness 
(if it be not an Irishism to say so) as they draw near to June. 
The Secretary 1 has finally made up his mind what to do as re- 

1 Hon. Isaac Toucey, of Connecticut. 



To Samuel A' Court Ashe, 1858-1859 111 

gards those fellows that tarred and feathered Foote. The order 
came down on Thursday. Fister, Robertson, 2 McCarty, 3 Fuller, 4 
Ogden 5 and Lambert 6 are dismissed. All the others are to go on 
board the ship this summer and to be quarantined during the 
cruise. 

Ding Hackett went over last night to see Julia Kent, who, as I 
believe you know, is staying in the country, and did not get back 
until church this morning, having been left by the ferry. At first 
I was a good deal amused, for I was under the impression that 
Julia was in Washington and that Hackett had had his trouble and 
perhaps demerits for nothing, but I find that she was at home. I 
shall give up going to see her if Ding goes, for, although I might 
get up energy enough to go and see her as a lady that I admire, 
still to take so much trouble and run the risk of finding some one 
there I defy the charm of any woman to bring about. 

2 James Patterson Robertson, of Pennsylvania, entered the Academy in 
1857. Dismissed on account of the Foote tarring-and-feathering incident 
but reinstated almost immediately, Robertson, as several others, appears 
to have resigned in June, 1859. However, he apparently re-entered the 
Academy and graduated in 1861. He remained in the service and attained 
the rank of lieutenant-commander, but died in 1875. 

3 Stephen A. McCarty entered the Academy in 1856. Owing to his con- 
nection with the Foote affair he was dismissed, but, with others, reinstated 
in a short time. He resigned in October, 1859, but apparently re-entered and 
graduated in 1861. He attained the rank of lieutenant-commander in 1866, 
but resigned from the naval service in 1874. 

4 James Fullerton Fuller, of Connecticut but appointed from Kentucky, 
entered the Academy in 1857. He was dismissed on account of connection 
with the Foote incident, but was reinstated. In June, 1859, however, he 
resigned and does not appear to have re-entered the service. 

5 Morgan Lewis Ogden, of Alabama but appointed from New York, 
entered the Academy in 1857. Dismissed with other leaders in the Foote 
tarring-and-feathering incident, he was reinstated with others connected 
with that unfortunate affair, but does not appear to have availed himself 
of the privilege of returning. 

6 Bruce Lambert, of Pennsylvania, entered the Academy in 1856. After 
dismissal on account of connection with the Foote affair and being reinstated, 
he resigned, with others, in June, 1859. 



112 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

I spent a delightful evening at the Gills' yesterday, going over 
to take supper, their brother having met me in the street and asked 
me. But although ladies' society makes me temporarily feel in 
good spirits, I do not expect fully to enjoy myself again until I 
get to sea. I am more at home on a ship than anywhere else ; my 
health and spirits are always good and the very air of the sea in- 
spires a man with a sort of "insouciance" that all the ladies in 
God's world can not give; indeed, the dear creatures, I think, 
rather have a tendency to multiply the cares and vex the spirits of 
men. 

Cenas, Claiborne and myself have thought of several ships and 
been obliged by circumstances to give them all up. First there was 
the Portsmouth, but her officers are so miserable that we abandoned 
her. Then the Pensicola, but on inquiry we find she is not to be 
ready before November. Then Moseley 7 wanted us to apply for 
the Levant, to which he is ordered as master, but Averett, Hackett, 
and Smith had determined to apply for her, so she is out of the 
question. I am now going to suggest to them the Iriquois, a gun- 
boat in New York as being one of the class of vessels that will see 
most service in case of war that any moment may now bring on us, 
and in which we will be most likely to have a responsible situation, 
as she will probably accommodate few officers. Her draught of 
water will be about six feet, and in war she will venture around in 
harbors and on cutting out expeditions that will give me the excit- 
ing sort of service that I most crave. And then again, if mercenary 

T James C. Moseley, of Kentucky, entered the Academy in 1852 and 
graduated in 1856. He was back at this time for examination and higher 
rating. In his assignment to the Levant he was ordered to his death. 
Sailing from Hilo, Sandwich Islands, for Aspinwall, in September, 1860, 
she was never heard of more. It was a most fortunate circumstance that 
kept Mahan and others of his classmates who desired to sail on this ship 
from being given that assignment. Averett, Hackett and Smith, who 
had determined to apply for her, were ordered instead to the Wyoming, 
while Mahan was sent to the Congress. 






To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 113 

motives may enter, such ships as she will be more likely to make 
prize money than any other. 

My room-mate is the bane of my life. I would rather go to sea 
with Gil Wiltse ten thousand times than with Spencer. Blake says 
that "Colhoun," 8 captain of the Portsmouth, is absolutely "noth- 
ing" and that the ship will be a disgrace to the service; in my 
opinion a man who was exchanged from Spencer's ship to Col- 

houn's would make a damned good swap. By , literally and 

emphatically, HE IS NOT WORTH HIS SALT. Twice last 
week he made a horrible bust in Seamanship and on what can you 
imagine — on "taking in topgallant sails," and when Marcy censured 
him what do you think he said ? "I know how to do it, Sir, but 

I forget the order." Great ! If I had been Marcy I would 

have sent him to his seat and given him a zero, and what's more I 
would bilge him in June. It is a pity that there is no way of get- 
ting rid of him, he is so worthless and will disgrace the service. I 
abominate him as a man, and shan't come within ten feet of him 
after I graduate if I can help it. What my repugnance to him is 
you may imagine from the fact that I launched of! into this tirade 
simply from the annoyance that his mere coming into the room 
caused me. But still every word I have said above is as true as 
Gospel. He is the most careless, most ignorant of his profession, 
and most easily flurried man I ever knew. And yet because he has 
no positive vices the Navy will have to endure him, and public 
ships and officers who are an ornament to the service will be im- 
perilled month after month and year after year. Mark my word, 
if that man ever has the deck in a squall heavy enough and it 
depends on him the ship is gone. 

D — n him ! I have wasted more words than such an apology 
for an officer deserves. The 52's, I suppose you know, are being 

8 Probably John Colhoun, who, however, was apparently not in command 
of the Portsmouth at this time. He commanded the Plymouth in 1860. 



114 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

examined. Harris, 9 Cooke, 10 Blodgett, 11 Moseley, Eastman and 
Bradford 12 are through. The Board say so far Bradford has 
passed by far the best examination. Harris did poorly and they 
say has the gift of the gab quite considerably. Their orders are 
Moseley to the Levant, Blodgett to the John Adams, Harris to the 
Lancaster, Eastman, the Constellation. Borchert, 13 perhaps you 
know, is not going to sail with us, because he says he will have to 
procure his own outfit and ours are furnished us by home. Old 
Gil is going to the devil, I guess. Every week he is going to apply 
for some new ship. 

Farquhar and myself were talking to Don Roget 14 yesterday 
about moving into his new house. Farquhar said, "Why, Mr. 
Roget, I should think that house would be too large for your 
family." "Oh, well," said Don, "dere is no telling how many 
children I will have after I move into it." 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

* Joseph W. Harris entered the Academy in 1853. He appears to have 
graduated in 1856. At this time he was back for examination and higher 
rating. He rose to the rank of lieutenant in January, 1861, but died in 
August of that year. 

10 Augustus P. Cooke, of New Hampshire, but appointed from Massa- 
chusetts, entered the Academy in 1852 and graduated in 1856. With others 
of his day, he was back now for examination and higher rating. He remained 
in the service. His death occurred in 1896, after he had attained the rank 
of commander. 

n George M. Blodgett, of Vermont, entered the Academy in 1851 and 
graduated in 1856. He was back now for examination and higher rating. 
He attained the rank of lieutenant, but died in November, 1862. 

a Robert Forbes Bradford, of Massachusetts, entered the Academy in 
1852 and graduated in 1856. He attained the rank of captain. His death 
occurred in 1892. 

13 Borchert was ordered to the Constellation. 

11 Edward A. Roget, Professor of Spanish. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 115 

Annapolis, 
May 8th, 1859. 
Dear Sam: 

I suppose you received mine of the first a short time after you 
had dispatched your last, and were reassured by it as to the state 
of my bodily health, albeit rather epuise by study and heartily 
ennuye of the unvaried monotony of an acting midi's life. You 
must yourself be aware of how little goes on in Annapolis. 

I gave you about all the details as regards the 52's the last time 
I wrote. Porter 1 has since arrived and been examined, barely 
reaching here in time to catch the Board, that were about to leave 
that very afternoon. 

Billy, Cenas, and myself have our eye on the Levant, 2 but 
whether we will succeed in getting her is a problem that remains 
to be solved. The class has made an application to be examined in 
June without alternating with any other. I hope it will be granted, 
for if it is I think we can safely count on finishing by four weeks 
from tomorrow evening. So near we are and yet it seems so far 
off. We shall all be delighted to see you, dearest Sam, if you can 
come on, and I hope you will have made up your mind to extend 
you perigrination farther north. 

I had a damned mortifying thing happen to me yesterday. We 
were fleet sailing and tacking. I gave the order of course to ease 
off the fore and jib sheets. It seemed so unlikely that anything 
would go wrong that I never looked to see, being against the fore- 
mast, but to my surprise the boat lay still in the water. The old 

1 Thomas K. Porter entered the Academy in 1852 and graduated in 
1856. He was back at this time for examination and higher rating. He 
attained the rank of lieutenant in January, 1861, but in July of that year 
resigned to cast his lot with the South. 

2 The two here mentioned increased the number of Mahan's class seeking 
assignment to this ill-fated ship to six. Fortunately for them the circum- 
stance of her expected sailing before this class finished at the Academy 
in June, 1859, saved all. Claiborne and Cenas were assigned, with Mahan, 
to the Congress. 



116 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

third cutter had a knack of doing the same, and I got out an oar to 
lea ward when Tom Craven hailed me and said, "You can't go 
around with your fore-sheet to windward." Sure enough a damned 
lubberly fourth classman had hauled the sheet flat aft and delayed 
it to windward. Who would anticipated such a thing ? Well, after 
we got ashore the first yarn I heard was — "Mahan tried to tack 
ship with his main and jigger sheets eased off and his fore and jib 
flat aft," and no doubt my honored and honorable crew helped it 
along a few. If you hear any such d — d lies, don't believe them, 
for I saw the jib and looked to it myself and Harrison and Tayloe 
in the stem sheets looked out for the other sails. 

Talking of "aft," Craven took some ladies out sailing yesterday. 
One of them, telling me about it, said, "Oh, we had a delightful 
time, but coming back the wind was aft and we had to beat down." 

Shepperd is in a very unpleasant position just now. He was to 
have been married in June and not to have gone on the ship, but 
Law 3 has been detached and Shepperd has to take his place. I 
think Jas. I. should offer to relieve him, under the peculiar circum- 
stances. I wish I could. This will be the fourth time that his 
wedding has been postponed. 

Here I am now brought up all standing for want of something 
more to say. Nothing has been heard lately from the fellows that 
were dismissed and I expect they are gone finally. Even old Tom 
Fister, I fear, has lost his hold on the Academy. 

Billy and Cenas send love. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

P.S. Blake has told me that we will be examined right ahead. 
We will be through by the 6th. 

3 Richard L. Law, of Indiana, entered the service in 1841 and died in 
1891, with the rank of captain. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 117 

Annapolis, 
May 25 th [1859.] 
Dear Sam : 

I am afraid you will think I have quite forgotten you, but it is 
not so much my fault as you may think. Your letter to Claiborne 
in the beginning of last week induced me to wait until I saw 
whether you were indeed coming on Friday. You know as well as 
I whether you did or not. On Sunday I wrote you a letter of six 
pages which I afterward destroyed. 

All the fellows dismissed for the Foote [affair] now have been 
reinstated. Fister has since resigned and for what — to accept a 
lieutenancy in the Revenue Sendee. So after all he leaves the 
Academy as soon as any of us and gets $800 a year into the bargain 
— Ainsi va la monde. He must have a damned sight of political 
influence. 

Last Saturday we had quite an unexpected visit from Paul 
Phillips. 1 He remained over Sunday but left early Monday morn- 
ing. He is looking very well, much better than when he left, all 
that eruption about his face having disappeared. I told him I was 
going to write to you that day and he desired me to send you his 
love. 

Your fellow statesman Frank Shepperd went on Saturday to 
be married. His nuptials were to have taken place yesterday, so I 
suppose he is now spliced. His leave is [a] short one, only till 
Thursday, and I believe he brings his wife to Jasseye's to stay. It 
is rumored that Cooke (52) has been ordered here to go on the 
practice ship in his place and that he will remain here as professor 
of something. As he is a married man I suppose he will like it. 

Blake sent for me the other day and said that he thought the 

1 No official record has been found identifying Paul Phillips' connection 
with the Naval Academy at any definite date, but Ashe remembers well 
that he was there and that he resigned to study law in Washington. His 
name is found among attorneys in Washington at the time of which Mahan 
writes of him. 



118 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

Levant would sail before the first of June, and that at any rate he 
thought the Sabine a much more eligible ship and advised us to 
apply for her. We came to the conclusion to do so, Blake under- 
taking to write a private letter to the Department to have the 
change made, so I think it highly probable that we will turn up in 
her. She is fitting out in New York which suits me admirably, 
and she will hardly get to sea before the 1 st of July. She is now 
in dock repairing. 

We had a last trouble as regards the 1st Crew this year. Old 
Blake sent for the fellows who had fallen out with me and asked 
of them to state what it was that had led them to do so. They all 
denied having any such reason as my reporting, but that the only 
reason was my manner. The reason that the inquiry was made was 
this — My father wrote to Blake and told him that in view of this 
difficulty, he thought that they should be made before leaving to 
say why they had adopted this course, and that it might be dis- 
tinctly known, lest on going away they should say that it had been 
for a reason that would reflect on my character. I have been to 
see Craven since and asked him to tell me plainly what the fault of 
my manner was & he said he had not been able to find out. So 
there it is and there will remain. Father has written to me since, 
for I knew nothing of the projected inquiry until made, and in fact 
requested Blake to stop it, and [he] says he shall do no more, 
neither shall I. I believe it is all a humbug as regards my manner, 
which Blake says I was regarded by the others as "reserved and 
averse to cultivating a general acquaintance among my class- 
mates," and I think with Father that such a charge now gives me 
no concern even though literally true. To say the least, it is 
strange that all this was not found out before this year. Hereafter 
my course is plainly to act as though that crowd had no existence. 

To-day week is the first of June. Our studies are suspended 
on Sunday next, in about two weeks I will take my departure — 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 119 

Naval Academy, 
June 1st, [1859.] 
Dear Sam: 

I hardly know whether this will reach you or not before you 
start on your way to this ancient city, but I will run the risk. You 
had better not leave later than Monday, however, or you may get 
here just in time to find me gone. At present writing, more than 
half the class are through in Seamanship & the whole examination 
will be over by Monday noon. The Commodores express them- 
selves highly pleased with the seamanship, and our drills were all 
excellent. We have only been in the howitzer four times before 
to-day and we landed it there this evening in forty seconds from 
fire to fire ; but by — the fellows did work. The day has not seemed 
like a first of June. We did not receive the Commodore under 
arms. A salute merely was paid and without exercises. At ten we 
went to examination. In the afternoon we had Battery, fencing, 
howitzer. There is to be no fleet sailing or field artillery, as we 
have not had practice enough. 

The Plymouth got up here last Friday morning. I have not 
yet been on board. She looks well. They are going to make our 
cruise this summer. 

Paul Phillips is here again. He says he must be in Washington 
on Saturday night and will come down again to see us get our 
sheepskins. Miss Julia Kent and Miss Bradley were in the yard 
this morning. It was the first time I had seen the former since 
Shepperd went through the barrel. By the way Shepperd has been 
married and his wife is now here. She is a nice, pleasant little 
woman, and he & she I expect will get along very well together. 
She has a sister who is very beautiful and an arrant flirt, who is to 
be down here in a fortnight, but I — oh, where will I be ? My heart 
is safe from there. 

I feel damned good just at present. I have made a good ex- 
amination in Seamanship and I don't care a damn if I bust in every- 



120 Letters of Alfred Thayer Mahan 

thing else, and am going to take things coolly. Old Joe Nourse, as 
usual, thinks his department is all hell this year and Farquhar 
drove him out of the officer-of-the-day's office lately by telling him 
that we would finish his department in an hour and a half. Joe 
left in disgust. 

I wrote quite a long letter to you last Sunday but concluded not 
to send it. I am not in very good spirits now and do not expect to 
be until I get to sea. I don't want to live ashore. There is a buoy- 
ancy in the sea air that elevates me, and as it can be accounted for 
chemically by the greater quantity of oxygen it contains, I guess 
my feelings do not arise from romance. 

You have perhaps heard of Dan Fister's promotion. He has 
resigned and been appointed lieutenant in the Revenue. An article 
was in the "Sun" the other day stating the fact, and the not fact, 
that Mr. Fister had for three or four years been at the Naval 
Academy and had lately graduated thereat. In Washington they say 
the report was spread that Dan was an unsuspecting foreigner who 
had been led into the scrape through his ignorance of the language, 
etc., and so interesting a case did they make out for him that he 
commanded sympathy on all sides. 1 And so for the time he is 
rather ahead of the other 55's. 

My case is made out now. There is no more news here — Do 
come on if you possibly can. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. Mahan. 

Philadelphia, 

July 31st, 1859. 

My dear Coot, 

***** 

I formed some very pleasant acquaintances in the Corps of 
Cadets, and my opinion, which was very sincere, that there were 

1 Fister resigned just before he would have graduated. The reference 
to his being a foreigner was probably due to the fact of his being a 
Pennsylvania German. 



To Samuel A'Court Ashe, 1858-1859 121 

none as good fellows in the Army as in the Navy, was entirely 
changed, not but that I would still change the line. 

"The Army and the Navy forever !" to 

'The Navy and the Army forever !" 
I had a visit from one of them on the ship as he was going home 
on a month's leave. He took quite a fancy to Bill, 1 and Bill to him. 
I smoked to a dreadful excess up home and fancy I feel the effect 
in my hands ; I trust I will never be like old Poppy Hopkins. 
***** 

Old Goldy 2 informed me the other day that I am to be Com- 
modore's Aid. It will be a pleasant duty, I think. At quarters I 
have charge of the Powder Division. Fortunately, in virtue of my 
office, [I] will be rid of the nuisance of keeping watch in port. 
Bill and Cenas send love. 

Affectionately, 

A. T. M. 

1 Henry B. Claiborne. 

3 An affectionate nickname for Capt. Louis M. Goldsborough. Louis 
Malesherbes Goldsborough, born in 1805, was appointed a midshipman in 
1812. He retired in 1833, but returned to the Navy and in the Mexican War 
served on the frigate Ohio. He was Superintendent of the U. S. Naval 
Academy from 1853 to 1857. He was given command of the North Atlantic 
Blockading Squadron in 1861 and in July, 1862, given the rank of rear 
admiral. His efficiency and activity in the war are familiar to all historians. 
The Burnside expedition and taking of Roanoke Island are said to have been 
due to his suggestion. He retired in 1873 and died in 1877. Ashe remem- 
bers him as a man of great size, six feet, two or three inches in height and 
weighing approximately 275 pounds. He recalls him as a man of exceptional 
firmness and fine character, commanding the respect and admiration of all 
classes at the Naval Academy. He commanded the frigate Congress when 
Mahan and three of his classmates made their first cruise on her in 1860. 
She was the flag-ship of the Brazil station. 



Duke University Library 
BULLETIN 

No. 5 NOVEMBER 193 1 



Annual Report 
19301931 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1931 



Duke University Library 
BULLETIN 

No. 5 NOVEMBER 193 1 



Annual Report 
1930-I93I 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
193 1 



ANNUAL REPORT, 1930-31 

The fiscal year July 1, 1930 to June 30, 1931 was notable 
in the development of the various libraries of Duke University. 
It marked the full operation for the first time of all the 
libraries. The total number of volumes accessioned was the 
highest of any year reported, viz. 53,365. This brought 
the total book resources for the institution to 246,280, as 
compared with 192,965 on June 30, 1930. At the same time 
the number of books catalogued exceeded accessions, being 
55,380. The expenditures for books during the year, as re- 
ported by the official auditor of the University, was $171,- 
106.21, an increase of $15,722.21 over the preceding year. 
The expenditure, the accessions, and the total number of 
volumes for each library are as follows : 

Total 
Expenditures Accessions Number 

General Library $106,517.48 28,983 196,389 

Woman's College Library 14,183.19 7,110 7,110 

Hospital Library (medical) .. . 33,070.54 7,062 18,752 

Law Library 17,334.00 10,910 24,029 

$171,105.21 53,365 246,280 

The Law Library 

Two new libraries were opened during the year; that of the 
Woman's College and that of the Law School. Of these the 
latter made the more rapid progress in the acquisition of 
books. It had the advantage in that there were received by 
transfer from the General Library 13,119 volumes. In ad- 
dition there were accessioned 10,910 volumes, bringing the 
total number to 24,029. An important feature of this de- 
velopment was the strengthening of the collection of American 



State Reports, making the collection ninety per cent complete. 
The periodical files were increased, current subscriptions being 
raised to 125. Large additions were also made of texts, 
treatises, and general works on jurisprudence. Of particular 
significance was the acquisition of 2,510 volumes pertaining to 
Continental European Law, selection being made with the 
generous assistance of Professor George E. Osborne of Stan- 
ford University. There were many gifts during the year. 
Particular mention should be made of four. Over 1,000 volumes 
were presented by the firm of Lee and McCanna of Providence, 
Rhode Island, through the medium of the late Thomas Z. 
Lee, member of the firm. Hon. William H. Sawyer, Chief 
Justice of the Superior Court of New Hampshire, repeatedly 
made gifts. Dean Miller of the Law School presented a type- 
written record of the Proceedings of the Joint Committee 
on Criminal Justice, appointed by the American Bar Associa- 
tion, the American Law Institute, and the Association of 
American Law Schools ; and Professor McDermott of the Law 
Faculty contributed six English legal documents on parch- 
ment, ranging in date from 1671 to 1712. From a manu- 
script report of Mr. William R. Roalfe, Librarian of the Law 
School, the following table, illustrative of the growth of the 
library, is taken. It should be noted that he reports as total 
number of volumes added all volumes acquired, whether ac- 
cessioned or not; this accounts for the discrepancy when 
compared with this report, which credits the Law Library 
with 10,910 additions, this being the number of accessions. 



(4) 



Books 

Number on Number Number on 

Class Aug. 4, 1930 Added. June 30, 1931 

State Reports 4,234 5,613 9,847 

State Statutes, (Session laws 

and Compilations) 450 1,436 1,886 

Periodicals 594 1,612 2,206 

Bar Association Reports. ... 96 514 610 
Public Utility and Com- 
mission Reports None 726 726 

Texts and Treatises 565 1,129 1,694 

Foreign Law None 2,510 2,510 

International Law 25 2,475 2,500 

All others 6,192 5,272 1 1,464 

Total 12,156 21,287 33,448 

Pamphlets 

Number on Number Number on 
Class Aug. 4, 1930 Added June 30, 1931 
All Classes 10 346 356 

Subscriptions 

Periodicals 10 125 135 

Advance Sheets and Temporary 

Services 12 28 40 

Loose Leaf Services None 3 3 

At present the Law Library ranks twentieth among the 
libraries of American law schools. There are, however, many 
lacunae to be filled to make it a satisfactory working collection. 
Especially must all the statutes, English and American, older 
treatises, and works in domains closely related to Law be 
acquired. 

The Woman's College Library 

This library was opened in September, 1931, in the build- 
ing on the East Campus formerly occupied by the General 

(5) 



Library. All the volumes were removed to the new building 
on the West Campus, and thus the Woman's College Library 
has had the handicap of beginning operation without any ac- 
cumulation of books. As noted above, the accessions for the 
year numbered 7,110. The policy in acquisitions has been to 
emphasize the needs of courses given at present in the Woman's 
College; texts and reference books for required reading in 
such courses have been given priority. This has not, of course, 
prevented the acquisition of general reference works for the 
reading room, and subscriptions have been entered for 171 
periodicals and newspapers. As time passes and the needs for 
reference books for specific courses diminish, the policy will be 
to widen out and develop for the Woman's College a well- 
rounded college library. It is the intention to place emphasis 
on certain lines of books. At present Elementary Education 
is receiving special attention, all books in the University in 
that field being placed in the Woman's College Library. Like- 
wise for the future, with books on Art : this library will become 
the University center for the literature of that subject. It 
should also be noted that two large rooms, intended originally 
for reading rooms, and one small reference room have been 
converted into galleries. In these has been placed a large 
general art collection loaned to the University by Mrs. 
Margaret L. Barber of Williamsburg, Missouri. It consists 
of paintings (European, Oriental, and American), early 
American furniture, and a wide selection of pewter, early glass, 
china, and porcelain ware. In one of the galleries, also, there 
is the rare Birds of America, elephant edition, by Audubon. 

The need of books for pure enjoyment has not been over- 
looked. A Book Lovers Room has been opened with a few 
hundred volumes and some odds and ends of good furniture; 
thus the beginning of an interesting collection of good books 
in every field of knowledge has been made. 

(6) 



The Hospital Library (Medical) 

The accessions in this library numbered 7,062 volumes, bring- 
ing the total to 18,752. The principal items in this increase 
were the addition of complete files of medical journals, notably 
the Nederlandisch tijdschrift voor geneeskunde, the Bulletins 
et memoires de la Societe anatomique, and the Zeitschrift fur 
wissenschaftliche photographie, photophysih und photochemie. 
The number of current subscriptions has been increased to 
440. Among the rare volumes accessioned are Pare, Oeuvres, 
(Paris, 1575), and MacCleed, Notes on the Surgery in the War 
of the Crimea, (Richmond, 1862). 

The notable acquisitions were, however, in the nature of gifts. 
The Georgia Medical Association has deposited with us its 
older medical works consisting of over 5,000 volumes. This 
collection is invaluable because of its English and early 
American works in medicine and its complete files and long runs 
of periodicals. Among the latter should be named the Annals 
of Medicine, Archives of Diagnosis, Inter-State Medical Journal, 
London Medical Journal, Maryland and Virginia Medical Jour- 
nal, Medical Repository, Medical Examiner, Medical Facts and 
Observations, North American Medical and Surgical Journal, 
and the Journal of Tuberculosis. Among the titles of English 
medical books are Wiseman's Treatise on Tumors (1676; At- 
kins, Navy Surgeon (1742) ; Pugh, Treatise on Midwifery 
(1754); Medical Essays and Observations of the Society of 
Edinburgh (1771) ; Monro, Observations on the Structure and 
Functions of the Nervous System (1783) ; and Rowley, Treatise 
on One Hundred and Eighteen Principal Diseases of the Eyes 
and Eyelids (1790). Cullen, Cooper, and Spurzheim are among 
the authors of early American works. These with a number of 
titles in the Americana collection of the General Library, which 
includes books and essays by Bell, Currie, Charles White, 
Tytler, Smyth, Robert Johnston, Perkins, Robert Davidson, 

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John Lamb, and John Church, lay an excellent foundation 
for study in the evolution of medical thought. 

Other benefactors of the year include Dr. R. J. Noble, Dr. 
F. M. Hanes, and Dean Davison. Genga's Anatomy (London, 
1723) from Dr. Davison and Lavrentii, Chirurgie (Nurem- 
burg, 1731), also strengthen the collection of older medical 
books. 

Thus not only contemporary practice and investigation, but 
the background of modern medicine become the mainsprings of 
the Hospital Library. 

The General Library 

In this, the largest of the university libraries, there was a 
marked increase in acquisitions, the number of volumes added 
being 28,283. The principal aspects of this gain deserve 
mention. 

Periodicals. First of all the appropriation for periodicals 
was increased, making possible 188 new subscriptions. This 
brought the subscription list to 1,359; and 79 back sets were 
added. As an aid to readers, two check lists are being prepared, 
one of extinct periodicals and the other of scientific and 
medical periodicals and monographic serials in all the libraries. 
The latter will include 1,044 titles. 

Concentration. As in years gone by, there has been concen- 
tration as well as diversification in the acquisitions. A number of 
large collections were secured, each of which strengthens the 
resources of the library. These are as follows : 

1. International Law. The private library of Professor 
Louis Strisower, at one time President of the Institute de 
Droit International. This collection of approximately five 
thousand volumes embraces material in the various allied fields 
of private and international law and relations, etc., dating 

(8) 



from the seventeenth century to the present day in American, 
English, French, German, Spanish, and other European pub- 
lications. Perhaps the most outstanding section is that of 
periodicals and serials in which is to be found files of Das 
Staatsarchivj Journal du Droit International Prive; Zeitschrift 
Fur Vblkerrechts; Annuaire de Legislation Etrangere; Annuaire 
de Legislation Frangaise; Archiv fur Off entliches Recht; Archiv 
fur Soziale Gesetzgebend; Revue de Droit International et de 
Legislation; Revue Generate de Droit International Public; 
Annuaire de VInstitut de Droit International; Rivista di 
Diritto Internazionale ; Zeitschrift fur Internationale Privat 
und Straf recht. 

Besides these, mention might be made of such works as 
Bynkershoek, Opera Omnia; Grotius, Epistolae; Leibnitz, Man- 
tissa Codicis Juris Gentium Diplomat; Negociationes Secretes 
de Munche et d'Osnaburg; Dumont, Corps Universel Diplo- 
matique du droit des gens, et Supplements; Paradiere-Fodere, 
Traite de Droit International Public Europeen et Americain; 
Lapradelle et Politis, Recueil des Arbitrages Internationaux ; 
Martens, Recueil de Traites et Conventions conclus par la Russie 
avec les Puissances Etrangeres, which will give some slight idea 
as to the breadth of the collection. Together with the books 
in this field already in our libraries, a basis is made for a dis- 
tinctive collection in the field of international law and inter- 
national relations. 

2. In American Church History two collections recently 
acquired are notable. First is one of all published Diocesan 
Records of the Protestant Episcopal Church, which includes 
practically every official diocesan report published down to the 
recent past. The other is a collection of the minutes of South- 
ern Baptist Associations and the Southern Baptist Convention; 
also various Baptist periodicals. These two collections con- 
tain material that is very scarce and usually difficult to procure. 
Outside the official archives of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
these long runs of diocesan reports cannot be duplicated, and 
the collection of Baptist material likewise can hardly be found 
outside a few denominational libraries. 

(9) 



3. In Forestry some 4,000 titles useful and essential to the 
work of the Duke Department of Forestry were acquired. It 
contains, in addition to many works now out-of-print, several 
complete files of current American and European periodicals, 
also bulletins, leaflets, and circulars relating to forestry. A 
number of the rare volumes are autographed, as Bechstein's 
Handbuch der Jagdwissenshaft (1802), which bears the name 
of Dr. Th. Hart, Jr. 

4. In Entomology a large collection made during a lifetime 
of work by Dr. L. O. Howard, Entomologist of the United States 
Department of Agriculture, was obtained. It includes a 
score of serial publications of foreign scientific societies, many 
rare volumes, such as the works of Blatchley, Comstock, 
Fabre, and Packard, and some 15,000 separates and reprints 
over a period of half a century. Unique is the fact that Dr. 
Howard is adding to the collection from time to time by con- 
tributing monographs, books, and serial publications. 

These two collections, housed in the Biological Building, 
vastly increase the reference material in Botany and Zoology, 
as well as the allied fields of Silvaculture and Entomology. 

5. In Americana 4,000 titles consisting of books and 
pamphlets illustrative of North American presses from the later 
years of the seventeenth century down to 1820 were ac- 
quired. The earliest volume is The Joy of Faith by Samuel 
Lee, one of the fathers-in-law of Cotton Mather, published at 
Boston in 1680. Other New England imprints of interest are 
issues of the Royal American Magazine (Boston, 1774), Frank- 
lin's account of the New Invented Fireplaces, Sermons by 
Jonathan Mayhew, Benjamin Coleman, Charles Chauncey, 
Samuel Willard, and other New England divines. Indeed the 
collection contains examples of the tyopgraphical work of 

practically every New England printer of the eighteenth century 
and first editions of the works of many authors during the 
early nineteenth century; also textbooks and pamphlet litera- 

(10) 



ture relating to politics and economics. As a whole the col- 
lection vastly enriches our resources for the investigation of 
American literature, social history, and economics. 

6. In English literature a collection of Tennysoniana, gath- 
ered by the late Thomas M. Owen of Alabama, was acquired. In 
this there are few rare volumes, but as a whole the collection 
rounds out the literature concerning the great Victorian poet. 

7. There were added 3,100 titles relating to the political, 
economic, and social life of France from the early eighteenth 
century down to 1830. This collection is rich in pamphlet 
material of the revolutionary period, particularly in tracts 
relating to the church problem. It is an excellent basis for 
further expansion in the field of French civilization. 

Another example of concentration was the appropriation of 
$9,400 for research grants to various members of the faculty. 
This not only facilitated their work but also enabled the 
library to acquire a class of material which could hardly be 
secured in any other way. These research grants also bring 
about cooperation between the Order Division of the Library 
and faculty members. Illustrative is the service rendered by 
Dr. John Tate Lanning. He was awarded a research grant 
and supervised its expenditure while on leave of absence in 
South America on a Guggenheim fellowship. The result was 
the acquisition of over a thousand volumes relating to Latin 
America, selected by him and purchased from dealers who do 
not issue catalogues. In this way our Peruvian collection, 
already large, was extended, and many works relating to Chile 
and Argentina were acquired. Through personal contacts Dr. 
Lanning was able to secure as gifts to the library some 500 
volumes from public ministries, university libraries, and in- 
dividuals. Every time a member of the University faculty is 
abroad, it is a great advantage to secure his cooperation in 
locating and acquiring books needed in his particular field of 
knowledge. 

( ii ) 



The policy of concentration has not estopped acquisitions 
of a general nature. Fully thirty per cent of the funds of 
the General Library were used for purchases of this nature; 
indeed the departmental appropriations the past year were 
larger than ever before. The only class of books which has 
not expanded at a reasonable rate is that needed for general 
reference, and means must be found in the near future to make 
large additions. 

Newspaper Division. In keeping with our aim to establish 
a cosmopolitan collection of newspapers, 1,378 volumes have 
been accessioned, bringing the total number of bound newspaper 
volumes to 4,804: in addition there are 963 unbound volumes, 
preserved in portfolios. Files of twenty current newspapers 
are bound each year, and an equal number remain unbound. 
Among the back files acquired the following should be men- 
tioned; from the foreign field, The London Times (1810-1846, 
1920-1929); U Action Francaise (1913-1929); UEcho de 
Paris (1914-1918) ; Le Figaro (1914-1919) ; La Libre Parole 
(1892-1899) ; Le Temps (1914-1918) ; Universe (1840-1898). 
Among the newspapers of the United States there has been ac- 
quired a long run of the New York Herald (1860-1919). Of 
particular importance are files of the following Southern news- 
papers: Moniteur de la Louisiane (1813), the Richmond Argus 
of Richmond, Virginia (1801), and runs of the following papers 
illustrative of the presses of Georgia: The Augusta Herald 
(1813-1815) ; The Augusta Chronicle (1840-1845, 1863- 
1900) ; The Augusta Constitutionalist (1851, 1853, 1859, 
1861-1867) ; The Monitor of Washington (1805) ; The Wash- 
ington Gazette (1867-1892). From Virginia have been re- 
ceived long runs of The Old Commonwealth (1867-1884) ; The 
Rockingham Register (1869-1871) ; Spirit of the Valley 
(1879-1901), all of Harrisonburg; The Staunton Spectator 
(1850-1851, 1856-1895) ; and The Virginia Free Press (1832- 

(12) 



1910) of Charlestown. From Mississippi several hundred 
copies of The Macon Beacon (1875-1927), and The Missis- 
sippi Paladium (1851-52) of Holly Springs, have been acquired. 

A complete card catalogue of the several thousand volumes of 
newspapers has been made. During the current year the 
publication in serial form of a check list will be begun. At 
least two sections will be issued devoted to the listing of the 
United States newspapers. Space for the ever-increasing num- 
ber of newspaper files has become a problem. The room 
dsigned for newspaper stacks is full, and at present the over- 
flow is being cared for in the general stacks of the library. 

Manuscripts. While the Manuscript Room in the General 
Library was not opened until January, 1931, there has been a 
rapid increase in manuscript collections. The following deserve 
special mention : 

1. A manuscript in Greek of the New Testament, dating 
apparently from the thirteenth century, probably of South 
Italian origin, with a binding of the fourteenth century. The 
reading is that of the Received Text, with variations which are 
a fruitful subject for research. All the books of the New 
Testament are found, including the Apocalypse. The volume 
is well decorated, titles of each book being in illuminated 
lettering, embellished with scrolls and symbolic designs. This 
volume was secured for the library through the intermediation 
of Professor Harvie Branscomb of the School of Religion, 
and at this writing it is the only complete manuscript of the 
New Testament reported by any library in this country. 

2. The correspondence of Senator Clement Clay, Jr. of 
Alabama and his wife, Virginia Clay Clopton, author of 'A 
Belle of the Fifties," consisting of letters written in various 
decades since 1840, including autograph letters signed by such 
Southern worthies as Jefferson Davis, James K. Polk, L. C. Q. 
Lamar, Andrew Johnson, J. T. Morgan, and C. G. Memminger. 
Of peculiar value is the correspondence concerning the Con- 

(13) 



federate Canadian Mission, the letters of General Nelson A. 
Miles relating to the imprisonment of Senator Clay at Fortress 
Monroe, and the notes exchanged between President Johnson 
and Mrs. Clay concerning the pardon of her husband. 

3. The correspondence of Paul Hamilton Hayne, South 
Carolina poet, consisting of 4,000 letters. The collection con- 
tains not only personal and family letters of the poet but 
also communications from a varied number of correspondents. 
Notable are letters from such political leaders as Hugh S. 
Legare, Robert Y. Hayne, Andrew Jackson, and Alexander 
H. Stephens. Among the literary correspondents are Oliver 
Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Henry W. Long- 
fellow, and Edward Clarence Stedman of the North; and 
such Southern writers as Charles Gayarre, Sidney Lanier, 
Henry Timrod, Margaret J. Preston, and William Gilmore 
Simms. English men of letters are also represented, notably 
R. D. Blacknall, Philip B. Marston, and Richard Black. The 
letters by Hayne number 500; and the great bulk of the cor- 
respondence is between the years 1850 and 1890. These 
manuscripts, together with Hayne's private library acquired a 
year ago, make an unusually well-rounded unit of great value 
for literary history and criticism in the South. 

4. Letters of Robert E. Lee, thirty-six in number, and also 
letters from various members of his family, chiefly Custis 
Lee. Most of these letters are dated prior to 1860 and relate 
to family and personal affairs. 

5. Over one hundred letters written in South Carolina 
and Georgia during the American Revolution, seventy-three 
being letters of General Nathaniel Greene; others being from 
the pens of such leaders as Henry Lee and Nathaniel Pendleton 
of Virginia, George Walton, Abraham Baldwin and John 
Habersham of Georgia, Thomas Sumter, Peter Horry, and 
Andrew Pickens of South Carolina; also General Robert Howe 
and Admiral D'Estaing. 

(14) 



6. Correspondence and business records of John Hook, 
Scots merchant of Virginia in the eighteenth century. Also 
business records and correspondence of Alexander Cunningham 
of Petersburg. 

7. The plantation diaries and records of William and 
Thomas Massie of Virginia and Richard Singleton of South 
Carolina. 

8. A dozen letters of John Randolph of Roanoke, personal 
in nature, written during his foreign mission. 

9. A Confederate Military collection, consisting of 968 
official memoranda and letters of the Confederate Ordinance 
Department concerning supplies at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and 
the commissary manuscripts of Jackson's army in 1862. 

10. A copy of the memoir of Reverend John O'Neale, 
Quaker minister of South Carolina, who left that state for 
Indiana sometime prior to 1850. 

11. Letters of the late Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, 
famous naval expert, to Captain Samuel A. Ashe of Raleigh, 
extending over a period of fifty years, 176 in number. Of 
these a selection consisting of the letters from Mahan to Ashe, 
written during their Naval Academy days in 1858 and 1859, 
are published in Bulletin 4 of the Duke University Library. 

It should be noted that of these eleven manuscript collections, 
all except one, the Greek New Testament manuscript, were ac- 
quired through the generosity of friends and benefactors. 

Gifts. The accessioned donations to the General Library 
in the past year amounted to 5,380 volumes. These were made 
by 370 individuals, institutions, and firms, a number so large 
that space forbids the mention of their names. However 
particular mention cannot be withheld from the major con- 
tributors, with the number of volumes which each has given. 
These are: the Baker Library of Harvard University, 157; 
the Commercial and Financial Chronicle, 300; Professor 

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Charles E. Ellwood, 121; Mr. W. W. Flowers, 1,276; History 
classes in Duke University, 326; Mr. J. A. Thomas, 82; the 
Connecticut Public Library, 319; W. K. Boyd, 47; W. P. 
Few, 22; W. H. Sawyer, 39; R. H. Shryock, 24; also Mrs. 
R. D. Ware, who presented the Confederate collections of her 
father, General V. Y. Cook of Arkansas ; and the family of the 
late Senator Lee S. Overman his library, valuable for its 
government documents. However, the distinctive feature of 
the gifts is not the number of volumes but the large amount of 
the contributions for the purchase of books, which exceeded 
$23,000 ; the principal contributors being Messrs. W. N. 
Reynolds and P. H. Hanes of Winston-Salem, Earl Webb and 
W. W. Flowers of New York City, and Mr. J. A. Thomas of 
White Plains, New York. In each case the books were selected by 
some specialist of Duke University, the payment of the bill 
being made by the benefactors. No more lasting or useful 
memorial can be made at Duke L T niversity than placing in its 
library books chosen by specialists for the use of the com- 
munity and the public in general. 

SERVICE 

In spite of the strain incident to moving the General 
Library into new quarters, the opening of the Law 
School Library, and the elementary steps in launching the 
Woman's College Library, the service rendered by the staffs of 
these libraries has been exceptional. Accessions showed 
an increase of over 10,000 volumes, due in a very large 
extent to the efficiency of the Order Divisions. The number of 
volumes catalogued was 55,380, with a total cataloguing staff 
of eighteen members, which is, I believe, unsurpassed among 
university libraries. For the benefit of readers, the General 
Library and the Law Library have issued monthly mimeo- 

(16) 



graphed bulletins giving lists of new books received and general 
information about the libraries, A handbook of the libraries 
has also been published by Mr. B. E. Powell of the Reference 
and Circulation Division of the General Library. Appreciative 
recognition is due all members of the staffs of the various 
libraries for the effectiveness of their work during a year of 
unusual strain. 

Growth 

Growing libraries are like an avalanche. They increase in 
size and gather momentum from year to year, and nothing but 
catastrophe can stop their increase. Such, certainly, is the 
case of the Duke libraries. Our resources in books five years 
ago were 87,850 volumes; today, 246,280. The increase by 
years along with the expenditure for books since the launching 
of the University has been as follows: 



Book 
Expenditure 

1924-25 $ 21,104 

1925-26 25,308 

1926-27 35,679 

1927-28 55,210 

1928-29 75,916 

1929-30 155,384 

1930-31 171,106 



Volumes in 




Library 


Increase 


87,857 




95,207 


7,435 


105,742 


10,450 


121,402 


15,660 


151,520 


30,118 


192,915 


41,495 


246,280 


53,365 



In the current year, 1931-32, the accessions will, I predict, 
reach 63,000 volumes, 10,000 volumes over the past year. This 
rapid growth presents administrative problems, such as limiting 
overhead costs, closer correlation of the libraries, and also the 
question of additional space for books. The latter problem 
will become acute by the end of the present fiscal year, for by 
that time additional stack space will be necessary for the 

(17) 



General Library and that of the Law School. This is a question 
for the early and serious consideration of the Universit}' 
trustees. 

William K. Boyd, 
Director of Libraries. 
Librarians : 

Joseph P. Breedlove, 

General Library. 
Lillian B. Griggs, 

Woman's College Library. 
William R. Roalfe, 

Law Library. 
Judith Farrar, 

Hospital Library. 



(18) 



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(21) 



Duke university Library 
bulletin 

No. 6 NOVEMBER 1932 



Annual Report 

1931-1932 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 

1932 



DUKE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 
BULLETIN 

No. 6 NOVEMBER 1932 



Annual Report 
1931-1932 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 

1932 



ANNUAL REPORT, 1931-32 

The last fiscal year, July 1, 1931 to June 30, 1932, marked 
the largest number of accessions in the Duke Libraries and also 
the largest expenditure for books ; the former reached 60,642 
items, the latter $242,004.18. The distribution of expenditures 
and accessions was as follows : 

Total Number 
Expenditures Accessions of Volumes 

General Library $140,976.93 39,555 235,944 

Woman's College Library . . . 13,136.09 5,073 12,183 

Hospital Library (Medical).. 24.312.92 4,527 23,279 

Law Library 63,578.24 11,487 35,516 



$242,004.18 60,642 306,922 

The General Library 

This library, serving the largest number of readers, natu- 
rally had the largest expenditure and is also credited with the 
greatest number of accessions, 39,555. As in former years, the 
policy has been to care for the general needs of all departments 
represented by the College and the Graduate School, and also to 
concentrate by acquiring collections pertaining to particular 
fields of learning. The principal results are herewith outlined. 

Periodicals and Serials. The interests of many phases of 
knowledge have been cared for not only by the acquisition of 
books, but also by expanding our subscription lists. Seventy-six 
new periodical subscriptions have been entered, raising the total 
number of publications received in the Periodical Room to 
1,435, and the list of serials has also been considerably ex- 
panded. More than sixty sets of back files of periodicals and 
serials have been added, and gaps in many existing files have 
been filled. Among the important complete files acquired are 
the following: Anales de la Universidad de Buenos Aires; 
Archivio Storico Italiano; Archivio Stork o Lombardo ; Asiatic 
Society of Japan. Transactions ; Bibliotheque Universelle. Ar- 
chives des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles de Geneve; Boletin 

(3) 



de la Sociedad Geografica de Sucre; Bulletin de la Societe 
Chimique de Belgique; Bulletin de Statistique et de Legisla- 
tion; Bulletin dn Bibliophile et du Bibliothecaire; Giornale 
Storico della Letteratura Italiana; Jahrbucher fur National- 
oekonomie und Statistik; J ahresverzeichnis der an den Deut- 
schen Universitaten Erschienen Schriften; Japan Society of 
London. Transactions ; Journal des Economistes; Linnean So- 
ciety of London. Zoology Journal; National Physical Lab- 
oratory. Collected Researches ; Naturwissenschaften; Nuovo 
Giornale Botanic o Italiano; Nuova Riznsta Storica; Preussische 
Jahrbucher; Proef station voor Vorstenlandsche Tabak Klaten — 
Java Mededeelingen; Rezista Chilena de Historia y Geografta; 
La Revista de Buenos Aires; Rezista de la Universidad de 
Cordoba; Reznsta del Rio de la Plata; Revista do Instituto 
Historic o e Geo graphic o de Sao Paulo; Reznsta Universitaria 
de Lima; Revue Archeologique ; Revue des Etudes Grecques; 
Revue Economique Jnternationale ; Royal Astronomical So- 
ciety. Monthly Notices; Royal Microscopical Society Journal; 
Schulthees' Europaischer Geschichtskalender ; T'oung Pao, on, 
Archives Concernant VHistoire [etc.] de YAsie Orientate; 
Veroffentlichungen der Gutenberg-Gesellschaft; Zeitschrift 
fur Franzosische Sprache ; Zeitschrift fiir Instrument enkunde ; 
and Zeitschrift fiir Wissenschaftliche Zoblogie. 

If to the subscriptions of the General Library, those of the 
Law Library (145), the Woman's College Library (234), and 
the Hospital Library (441 ) be added, the total number of cur- 
rent periodicals and serials (including some duplicates) avail- 
able to readers, is over 2,200. 

European Academies. Useful to various intellectual inter- 
ests has been the contract for the acquisition over a period of 
years of the publications of eight European academies. So far 
the following sets have been received : the publications of the 
Academies of Brussels and Amsterdam and of the Royal and 
Pontifical Academies of Rome ; sixty volumes of the Petrograd 
Academy, being the scientific works of the eighteenth century ; 
and the publications of the Vienna Academy to 1912. 

(4) 



Theses. Of value, also, to all departments of learning, is 
the acquisition, still in process, of some 40,000 European dis- 
sertations and theses, representing the fruits of research in the 
leading continental universities. These are being catalogued as 
rapidly as possible and are shelved as a Thesis Collection. 

English Literature. Among the specific fields of knowledge 
to which notable additions have been made, that of English Lit- 
erature deserves especial mention. Three important collections 
were acquired. The first is the library of Thornton Shirley 
Graves, for a number of years Professor of English Literature 
in Trinity College and later at the University of North Car- 
olina. This collection, comprising about 1,200 volumes, is rich 
in general English Literature, with special emphasis on the 
drama from the time of Queen Elizabeth to the close of the 
eighteenth century. It is a scholar's working collection, care- 
fully selected by Professor Graves over a period of years. A 
large portion was acquired and presented to the General Li- 
brary by the Class of 1916, as a memorial to John T. Ring, a 
member of the Class, who was killed in action in France in 
July, 1918. This portion of the Graves Collection will be known 
as the John T. Ring Memorial. The remainder of the library 
— that relating to the eighteenth century drama — will be added 
to from time to time through the generosity of Mrs. Graves, 
who has made a donation for this purpose, and the volumes so 
added will be credited to her daughter, Shirley. 

About the time of the acquisition of the Graves Collection, 
over 1,400 plays of the eighteenth century were acquired from 
Europe. These, with the volumes in the Graves Collection, 
establish an excellent working unit for the English Dramatic 
Literature prior to 1800. 

The third acquisition in the realm of English Literature con- 
sists of about seventy titles, duplicates from the library of Mr. 
T. J. Wise, foremost bibliographer of English Literature. 
Many of these volumes are extremely rare. For instance, 
among eight Byron items are an uncommon copy of the first 
edition of The Corsair (1814) ; the first separate issue of the 

(5) 



first separate edition of Lara, actually the fourth edition; the 
first issue of the first edition of Poems (1816) ; and the first 
editions of Beppo (1816) and The Lament of Tasso (1817). 
Of nine Coleridge items, the following deserve mention : first 
editions of The Fall of Robespierre (1794) ; The Plot Discov- 
ered (1795) ; Condones ad Populum (1785) ; Poems on Vari- 
ous Subjects (1796) ; and The General Introduction and Pre- 
liminary Treatise on Method (n.d.). There are also the orig- 
inal ten numbers of The Watchman (1796). Included also are 
two Dryden first editions: The Kind Keeper (1680) and The 
Hind and the Panther (1687) ; also the first complete edition of 
the three books of Pope's Dunciad (1729) with the rare Ass 
engraving. Of associational value are some of the proof sheets 
of Thomas Hardy's Notes on the Dynasts and two A.L.S., one 
from Dante G. Rossetti to Theodore Watts Dunton ; the other 
from Thomas Hardy to E. Clodd. Also a single leaf of octavo 
sized paper has on one side a holograph poem, signed in full 
by Christina Rossetti, while on the reverse is another holograph 
poem signed by W. M. Rossetti. Each is marked in brackets 
7 minutes, indicating that possibly these poets had indulged 
in a competition as to their poetical ability when limited to seven 
minutes. Finally, the collection includes 135 political and reli- 
gious broadsides, mostly of the seventeenth century but some of 
the eighteenth. 

Mathematics. This section of the Library has been en- 
riched by approximately 1,000 volumes. Besides many of the 
works of individual mathematicians are included files of the 
following journals and serials: Abhandlungen aus dem Math- 
ematischen Seminar der Hamburger Universitdt; Acta Math- 
ematical Annates de la Faculte des Sciences de Toulouse; 
Annates Scientifiques de VEcole Normale Superieure; Archiv 
der Mathematik and Physik; Bulletin de la Societe Mathema- 
tique de France; Bulletin des Sciences Mathenvatiques et As- 
tronomiques ; Edinburgh Mathematical Society Proceedings; 
Encyclopediedes des Sciences Mathenmtiques; Fundamenta 
Mathematicae (Warszawa) ; Jahresbericht der Deutschen Math- 
ematiker-V creinigung ; Journal de VEcole Imperiale Polytech- 

(6) 



nique; Mathemutische Zeitschrift; Mitteilungen der Mathema- 
tischen Gesellschaft, Hamburg; Monatshefte fur Mathemutik 
und Physik; Rendiconti del Circolo di Matematico di Palermo ; 
Revue Semestrielle des Publications Mathematiques; Sitzungs- 
berichte der Berliner Mathemutische Gesellschaft; Studia Math- 
ematical and Zeitschrift fur Mathematik und Physik. 

Latin American Legal and Documentary Publications. A 
number of important items have been added to our Latin 
American collections. Of particular note are three sets relating 
to Brazil ; the Collecgao das Lets (e Decisoes) do Brasil, con- 
sisting of the statutes and decisions of the government of Brazil 
from 1808 to 1930; Actos da Canwra da Villa de Sao Paulo, 
1562-1834, being the complete acts of the municipal council of 
the town of Sao Paulo from the third year of its founding (the 
acts of the first two years having been lost) through the first 
decade of independence; Question des frontieres de la Guyane 
Frangaise et du Bresil, the case for Brazil prepared by Rio 
Branco in the boundary dispute with France over the region 
between Brazilian territory and French Guiana, one of less 
than thirty sets which were printed for the use of the judges, 
no other printing having been authorized. In addition, for 
Hispanic America the following sets have also been acquired : 
Diario de las Sesiones del Congreso Nacional de la Republica 
Argentina, complete; Bolctin de Leyes de Chile; Anuario Ad- 
ministrativa (Anuario de Leyes) de Bolivia; and the Bolivian 
Gaceta Judicial; also the Memorias of the Chilean Minister of 
Foreign Affairs. 

A New Venture. Because of the increasing demand for 
documentary publications of the various states, a systematic 
effort was launched at the beginning of the fiscal year to secure 
this type of material. Success depended upon the favorable 
response and cooperation of various state libraries and state 
departments. I am glad to report excellent results. Approx- 
imately four thousand pieces of bound and unbound state mate- 
rial have been received. These, with the accumulation already 
on our shelves, form a good foundation for an extensive col- 

(7) 



lection of American state documents. Special recognition 
should here be given to various states of the North and West 
for their contributions ; viz., Arizona, California, Colorado, Con- 
necticut, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, 
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Unfortunately, there has been less 
response from the states of the South. For this, one reason is 
a prevailing concept of a cleavage between educational institu- 
tions supported by the State and those supported by private 
endowment. The former, being state institutions, may receive 
gifts of public documents or other material from another state, 
but the latter can secure such material only by purchase. More 
than once this false classification has been given as a ground 
for not filing with the Duke University Library copies of state 
publications. Exceptions are the states of Alabama, Arkansas, 
Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and 
West Virginia, which have generously responded to our request. 
However, at present, our state document collection is much 
stronger for the North and West than for the region in which 
the University is located. 

Mention should also be made of an important acquisition to 
our files of European documentary material; viz. The Steno- 
graphic Reports of the German Parliament, which were for- 
tunately obtained quite complete, an unusual circumstance. 

Southern Americana. To the material relating to the region 
in which the University is located, there have been numerous 
additions amounting to over 1,400 books and pamphlets, 15,000 
manuscripts, and 194 volumes of newspapers. Leaving man- 
uscripts and newspapers for comment below, the following 
acquisitions deserve mention. 

For the legal and constitutional development prior to 1860, 
the folio Acts of South Carolina, 1780-1802, the folio Journals 
of the Senate and House of Commons of North Carolina, 
1794-1816, and the Journal and the Documents of the Virginia 
Convention of 1850 are important. Files, or additions to ex- 
isting files, of periodicals have been procured, notably of The 
Orion, The Southern Literary Gazette, The Literary and Evan- 

(8) 



gelical Magazine of Virginia, The Millenial Harbinger, The 
Southern Repository, Russell's Magazine, The Southern Illus- 
trated News, The Southern Eclectic, and The Southern Liter- 
ary Messenger (war issues). Pamphlet material has not been 
neglected, and the accessions include titles by such personages 
as Francis Lieber, William C. Preston, William H. Trescott, 
Joseph Le Conte, John Bell, James M. Garnett, Zebulon B. 
Vance, and Joseph Caldwell. In addition, much pamphlet ma- 
terial relating to economic development — transportation, finance, 
and agriculture — has been secured. The works of literary per- 
sonages have not been neglected, especially the minor writers of 
the region. Practically every state of the South has had 
authors of talent identified with the traditions of their state 
rather than with national literature, and we have been securing 
their works whenever they can be found. Such an effort will 
enable us to form in the future better than in the past, an esti- 
mate of the prevailing literary tastes of the Southern people. 
We have also been fortunate in acquiring a large number of local 
imprints, books published in such places as Leesville, Fincastle, 
Harrisonburg, Staunton, Woodstock, Shepherdstown, and 
Lynchburg, Virginia; also Madison and Lexington, Georgia. 
Mention should be made of a dozen volumes printed in the Ger- 
man language on the Henkel Press in New Market, Virginia, 
and also the Henkel printing press, the first German press south 
of the Potomac. Finally, there comes to us a number of volumes 
from the library of William Gilmore Simms, each with Simms' 
signature. The importance of this acquisition is that Simms' 
library is said to have been destroyed during the Civil War, 
but each of these volumes seems to have been acquired before 
1860. 

Newspaper Department 

To the growing newspaper collection 879 volumes have been 
added, and the list of current newspapers bound has been in- 
creased to thirty. The rare and unusual titles added are South- 
ern and include the following: The Daily Chronicle and Sen- 
The Tri-Weekly Constitutionalist, The Daily Constitu- 

(9) 



tionalist, The Weekly Constitutionalist, and The Chronicle and 
Constitutionalist, of Augusta, Georgia; The McDuffie Weekly 
Journal, The Weekly Jeffersonian, and Burke's Weekly for 
Boys and Girls, also Georgian; from Virginia were received a 
number of partial files from the valley towns, including The 
Rockingham Register, The Spirit of the Valley, The Old Com- 
monwealth, and The Staunton Spectator; The Mirror of Lees- 
burg, The Daily Republican of Lynchburg, and The Vir- 
ginia Argus of Richmond were also received. From South 
Carolina we have acquired many numbers of The Charleston 
Mercury and The Lancaster Ledger; from Maryland The Balti- 
more American and The Patriot; and from Alabama The Dallas 
Gazette, The Montgomery Advertiser, and The North Alabam- 
ian. From North Carolina come The Carolina Observer, The 
Fayetteville Observer, The Raleigh Register, The Raleigh Ob- 
server, The Wilmington Journal, The Farmer and Mechanic, 
The Eastern Carolina Republican, The Edenton Gazette, The 
Hornet's A 7 est, The Little Ad, The Microcosm, The Southern 
Weekly Post, The Albemarle Southron, The Asheville Spec- 
tator, and The Asheville News. From Mississippi there have 
also been received many numbers of The Mississippi Gazette, 
the earliest newspaper published in the state of Mississippi. 

During the past year the first two issues of "A Checklist of 
United States Newspapers (and Weeklies before 1900)," listing our 
newspapers from Alabama through Massachusetts, have been 
issued as the initial publication of The Bibliographical Contri- 
butions of the Duke University Libraries. Two other issues 
will come from the press this year. 

Manuscripts 

Our manuscript collections have been enriched by the addi- 
tion of over 15,000 pieces. Most of these come from the region 
in which the University is located. The following deserve 
mention : 

1. The correspondence and papers of Alfred Cumming of 
Georgia constitute an important addition, amounting to 1,000 
pieces. Cumming was Governor of Utah, 1857-1861. The col- 

(10) 



lection includes two letter books while he was governor, two 
notebooks, three scrap books containing clippings relating to the 
Mormons during his administration, and a number of letters 
dating from 1792 to 1865, including communications from Al- 
bert Sidney Johnston, Franklin Pierce, Brigham Young, How- 
ell Cobb, and Lewis Cass. Cumming was an important person 
in Georgia, particularly for his services as mayor of Augusta 
during an epidemic of yellow fever, for which he was given 
public recognition. 

2. The correspondence of Godfrey Barnsley, of Georgia. 
This man was an Englishman who migrated to Savannah in 
1824. There he became a merchant and developed extensive 
business connections in Liverpool, New Orleans, and Mobile. 
In 1844 he bought a plantation in Cass County, Georgia, where 
he lived for the remainder of his life. His home is said to 
have furnished the scene for Augusta Evans' St. Elmo. His 
correspondence covers the period 1824-1875 and illustrates agri- 
cultural and business relationships. 

3. From Georgia also come thirty-six letters from the 
files of General Edward Harden of Athens, and his daughter, 
Mary Harden, which are added to the Harden material for- 
merly received. Among these the most important are two letters 
of John Howard Payne, author of ''Home Sweet Home," in 
one of which Payne makes a proposal of marriage to Miss 
Harden. 

4. Of distinct interest is a portion of the correspondence of 
Richard Singleton, of South Carolina, consisting of 183 letters. 
Among the important signatures are those of James Hamilton, 
Thomas Grimke, W. C. Preston, James Petigru, Robert Y. 
Hayne, George MacDufne, James Chestnut, F. W. Pickens, 
Andrew Stephenson, and Martin Van Buren. There are also 
many plantation papers in this collection. 

5. The papers of John M. Orr, Circuit Judge of Loudoun 
County, Virginia, covering the period from 1818 to 1900 are of 
interest. Many of the letters are written during the Confed- 
eracy, when Orr was agent for the meat supplies for the Army 
of Northern Virginia. The correspondence includes documents 

(ii) 



of agricultural and economic interest, such as papers relating 
to the incorporation of the Leesville Library in 1852, construc- 
tion of turnpikes, and Orr's invention of railroad chairs. 

6. The manuscripts of Philip H. Fendall likewise deserve 
mention. He was district attorney for the District of Colum- 
bia. The autographs include those of John Tyler, James K. 
Polk, Daniel Webster, James Monroe, Millard Fillmore, Rich- 
ard Henry Lee, George Washington Park Custis, Matthew 
Cary, Henry Clay, Horace Greeley, and Reverdy Johnson. 

7. Turning to North Carolina, an important acquisition is 
a portion of the correspondence of James Iredell, Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and of 
James Iredell, Jr., his son. Here are letters from Henry Lee, 
Charles Lee, Robert Y. Hayne, John Randolph, and John Tyler. 
Most interesting are a number of letters from Henry E. Mc- 
Cullough, heir of Henry McCullough, the British speculator 
for whom Iredell was attorney. 

8. There are about 2,500 letters of the Person family of 
Franklin County, covering a long period, 1797-1915. Many of 
these are written during the Confederacy by the women of the 
family and illustrate domestic conditions during the War. 

9. There are also about 600 letters of the Emerson, Ches- 
son, and Ross families of Martin County, North Carolina. This 
collection also contains a large number of ante-bellum public 
school records, giving the names of pupils, teachers, and length 
of term. Most interesting are the records of contributions of 
many of the eastern counties of North Carolina for the fam- 
ilies of soldiers during the Confederacy and also military 
records relating to exemptions from service. 

10. There are also approximately 200 letters written to Asa 
Biggs, North Carolina Senator, 1856-1861, mainly during the 
period of the Confederacy. 

11. A miscellaneous collection of manuscripts, about 100 
pieces, contains important autographs, including those of Wil- 
liam Bull, Samuel Elbert, Edward Telfair, Albert Gallatin, 
William Wirt, James Barbour, Henry A. Wise, Francis Lieber, 

(12) 



Robert Goodloe Harper, William R. King, Garret Davis, and 
Humphrey Marshall. 

12. To our collection of Confederate manuscripts impor- 
tant additions have been made as follows : (a) Letters of Rob- 
ert E. Lee, 44 in number, including 11 letters of Lee to Davis. 
This addition raises the number of our Lee letters to 80. (b) 
Of secondary importance are 166 letters from the files of Gen- 
eral William N. Pendleton, 1861-1862, including A.L.S. of Jubal 
A. Early, Joseph E. Johnston, J. E. B. Stuart, Longstreet, L. P. 
Walker, Wade Hampton, and officers of less importance, (c) 
We are also fortunate in having acquired 90 letters from the 
correspondence of Governor Francis W. Pickens of South Car- 
olina, all written between the date of South Carolina's secession 
and the opening of the war. Important autographs include 
those of Maxey Grigg, Joseph E. Brown, I. W. Hayne, Frank- 
lin J. Moses, P. G. T. Beauregard, J. A. Seddon, S. A. Merrill, 
A. B. McGrath, Robert Toombs, and R. W. Gibbs. (d) A 
small collection from New Orleans, being letters to Joseph 
Semmes, includes letters from John Slidell, C. G. Memminger, 
A. H. Stephens, Jefferson Davis, and P. G. T. Beauregard, 
(e) Mention should also be made of two letters of Bishop 
Leonidas Polk and two of General N. B. Forrest. 

13. Finally, a collection of 40 A.L.S. by personages of note 
of nineteenth-century England has been acquired. It includes 
autographs of William Archer, A. J. Balfour, Walter Besant, 
William Beresford, Campbell-Bannermann, Winston Churchill, 
William Cobbett, Henry Drummond, William E. Gladstone, 
Edmund Gosse, Richard Hutton, Douglas Jerould, Charles 
Landseer, George Moore, Henry Morley, Mrs. Oliphant, Al- 
fred Pollard, Lord John Russell, John Ruskin, William Wilber- 
force, George Trevelyan, The Duke of Wellington, Queen Vic- 
toria, and Edward VII. There are also in the collection twenty 
documents relating to the South Sea Bubble. 

Gifts and Exchanges. Because of the growing number of 
duplicates on our shelves and a like condition in other libraries, 
at the beginning of the fiscal year a systematic effort to nego- 
tiate exchanges was begun. At the same time solicitation for 

(13) 



books by gift was instituted. The results have been eminently 
satisfactory. During the year 51,135 titles have been received 
or negotiated by these methods and as rapidly as possible are 
being made ready for the cataloguers. 

The monetary contributions for the purchase of books and 
manuscripts amounts to $21,650. The entire list of benefactors 
is too long to give in full, but especial acknowledgment is due 
the following: Messrs. W. W. Flowers, J. A. Thomas, and 
A. C. Howell, of New York; Mr. P. H. Hanes of Winston- 
Salem; the Class of 1916 of Trinity College; and Mrs. Edwin 
F. Lyford of Springfield, Massachusetts. For approximately 
1,200 publications relating to Forestry, recognition is due the 
following persons : Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Hyde Pratt of Chapel 
Hill; Mr. W. R. Mattoon, Miss Helen E. Stockbridge, and 
Mr. Claude M. Ballard of Washington; Mr. Howard S. 
Schwartz of New York; and Mr. Carl I. Peterson of Nash- 
ville, Tennessee. Miss Eliza P. Phinizy of Augusta, Georgia, 
has also presented a number of volumes from the library of 
Paul H. Hayne. Among the institutions contributing, mention 
must be made of The Boston Athenaeum, The Baker Library 
of Harvard University, Princeton University Library, and the 
state institutions mentioned under A New Venture. 

There has also been established a small endowment, "The 
Ormond Memorial Fund," of $1,200, for the acquisition of 
works dealing with the Rural Church. For this fund we are 
indebted to Professor J. M. Ormond of the School of Religion, 
who has established it in memory of his father and mother, Mr. 
and Mrs. J. J. Ormond. It insures increase of our already 
large collection of books relating to the church and country life. 

Bindings 
The proper care and preservation of books, periodicals, and 
newspapers is a problem in all libraries. It resembles somewhat 
the care and preservation of physical health. As in the life of 
a personality, so in the life of a book, there are encountered 
disease, accident, and degeneration. These questions center 
largely around the matter of binding. Some years ago, in order 

(14) 



to reduce costs, there was introduced a new method of binding. 
By this process the signatures of the periodical or book are fre- 
quently cut, thereby reducing the margins, and the folios are 
oversewn on a machine. The results are that the volumes thus 
bound often do not open well, frequently a leaf breaks in the 
binding and cannot be resewn, and when the book must undergo 
a second rebinding, the margins are so narrow, that it must be 
discarded. Yet this method of binding has been endorsed by 
the American Library Association ! After discovering scores of 
volumes that have been irreparably injured by this method of 
binding, we have changed, during the past year, to the older and 
more durable method ; viz. that all books and periodicals must be 
sewn, except when impossible, through the signatures and then 
bound. This process is more expensive, but it prolongs the life 
of the volume. After all, book binding is a kind of surgical 
operation designed to prolong the life of the subject. In op- 
erations on individuals, expense is not spared when the purpose 
of the operation is to prolong physical life; to spare such ex- 
pense in the case of that which is, next to the author's life, most 
important, the record of his mind as recorded in his book, is 
indeed an anachronism. 

The same remarks apply to pamphlets; they, too, are dam- 
aged by the new process : fortunately we have evolved an effi- 
cient method of binding pamphlets at a low cost. Worthy of 
note, also, is that the head of the firm which has the contract 
for binding books and periodicals, is a bibliophile and book col- 
lector ; it is not strange, therefore, that the volumes he delivers 
are bound not only durably but also in good taste. 

The Law Library 

The year marked substantial growth in this institution, its 
accessions being 11,487, bringing the total number of acces- 
sioned volumes to 35,516. In addition there are around 8,000 
volumes unaccessioned and over 5,000 pamphlets. Notable ad- 
ditions have been made in American Statute Law and Anglo- 
American texts and treatises, approximately 1,200 volumes of 
statutes having been acquired and 2,700 of texts and treatises. 

(15) 



Although this library is the largest among the law schools of the 
Southeastern States, much remains to be done before making it 
a satisfactory collection for the modern teaching of law and 
research. For instance, the sets of American state reports are 
not yet complete, nor are the files of American statutes, to say 
nothing of materials needed in various fields of jurisprudence, 
in which there is an opportunity and also a desire for research. 

A significant development has been the effort to collect legal 
biographical material, with the result that a good many man- 
uscripts, autographed biographies, a number of addresses, 
briefs, and clippings have been assembled relating to the lives 
of famous lawyers and jurists. Special mention should be 
made of several letters of Daniel Webster, the gift of Judge 
William H. Sawyer, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of 
New Hampshire. 

Another venture has been the collection of pamphlet mate- 
rial, for which a special drive was begun in the summer of 1931 
and has been continued. The items collected represent every 
field of the law as well as related branches, and augment the 
general resources of the library by furnishing (a) printed 
matter of a strictly legal nature, (b) material in a more con- 
venient or condensed form than can be found elsewhere, and 
(c) material not available in any other form. 

The use of the Law Library steadily increases, not merely 
by students and members of the teaching staff but also by the 
public generally. Many practicing attorneys and visitors in 
this neighborhood, seeking references to legal works, use the 
services of the library. Thus even in the summer months, 
when no lectures are given, the library is widely used. 

There have been a large number of gifts during the year ; 
among the donors, particular mention should be made of Messrs. 
William R. Perkins and Waldo G. Morse of New York ; Judge 
William H. Sawyer of New Hampshire, and Messrs. Lloyd M. 
Robbins and Daniel Beecher of California; also the following 
institutions : the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 
Columbia University Legislative Drafting Fund, Dartmouth 

(16) 



College Library, the Illinois State Library, the Iowa State Law 
Library, and the Yale University Law Library. 

The Hospital (Medical) Library 

The development of this library has followed the lines ex- 
pected of the practical, scientific institution. The important 
aspect of expenditures was for journals and serials, and the 
subscriptions now amount to 441. Back files of the following- 
journals were also acquired: Archiv fur Orthapadische Chir- 
urgie; Archives Generates de Medecine; Archives Internation- 
ales de Physiologie ; Association des Anatomist es, Comptes 
Rendus; British Journal of Experimental Pathology; British 
Journal of Physical Medicine; D ermatologischer Jahresbericht; 
Deutsche Gesellsclwft fur Gynakologie. V erhandlungen ; Folia 
Mikrobiologica; Frankfurter Zeitsclwift fur Pathologie ; Jour- 
nal des Maladies Cutanees; Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der 
Medizin; Picketl-Thomson Research Laboratory. Annals; 
Sammlung Auserlesene-r Abhandlungen zum Gebrauch Prak- 
tischer Arzte; Schweizer Archiv fiat Neurologie; Veroffent- 
lichungen aus der Kriegs- und Konstitutionspathologie ; Zeit- 
schrift fur Angewandte Mikroskopie ; .Zeitschrift fiir Aug en- 
heilkunde; Zeitschrift fiir Kinderheilkunde ; and Zeitschrift fiir 
Urologische Chirurgie. 

There were also acquired many early English and American 
editions of medical books, as the works of Abernethy, Arm- 
strong, Bichat, Currie, Hunter, and Stewart. 

The number of accessions is 4,527, bringing the total to 
23,279. 

The Woman's College Library 

At present this library is primarily a center for reference 
work and required readings in such undergraduate courses as 
are given on the East Campus. It is increasingly used, the cir- 
culation for the past year reaching 39,322. The acquisitions 
have been mainly books for current use, but a few rare and 
valuable volumes and sets have been acquired; especially the 
Gadshill Edition of Dickens and Van Dyke's Florentine Paint- 

(17) 



ers. Sixty-three additional periodical subscriptions have been 
entered, raising the total to 234. 

The library is also the center for the Art Association of 
Duke University, its galleries being the repository for paint- 
ings ; and here also are its exhibitions held. During the past 
year the following public exhibitions have taken place : 

1. Negro Plantation Life, consisting of paintings by Mrs. 
Marshall Williams of Faison, North Carolina. 

2. Stained Glass Window Designs in Water Color, by 
George Pearse Ennis. 

3. Contemporary American Paintings, sponsored by the 
College Art Association. 

4. Portraits, Landscapes, and Figure Pieces, by Nicholas 
R. Brewer. 

5. Seascapes and Landscapes, by G. Thompson-Pritchard. 

Conclusion 
Such are the notable phases of our acquisitions during the 
past fiscal year. Mention cannot be made of more commonplace 
but also essential additions. Our rapid development daily makes 
for complexities, demanding more expert knowledge, new de- 
vices for the economical handling of books, and larger space for 
the conduct of new enterprises. In these and all other matters, 
little could be accomplished without the cooperation of all mem- 
bers of the library staffs, members of our faculties, and the 
administrative officers of the University. For such assistance 
and cooperation deep appreciation is herewith expressed. 

Wm. K. Boyd, 

Librarians : Director of Libraries. 

Joseph P. Breedlove, 

General Library. 
Lillian B. Griggs, 

Woman's College Library. 
William R. Roalfe, 

Law Library. 
Judith Farrar, 

Hospital Library. 

(18) 





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Duke University Library 
bulletin 

No. 7 DECEMBER 1933 



Annual Report 
1932-1933 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
1933 



Duke University Library 
bulletin 

No. 7 DECEMBER 1933 



Annual Report 

1932-1933 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 

1933 



ANNUAL REPORT, 1932-33 

The past twelve months mark Year I of the World Depres- 
sion at Duke University, and the effects on the growth of the 
libraries have been direct and immediate. In order to prevent 
a reduction in salaries and personnel, the appropriations for 
capital expenditures were greatly reduced, the result being that 
the total amount spent for books during the fiscal year July 1, 
1932 to June 30, 1933 was $88,123.70, as compared with 
$242,004.18 the previous fiscal year. Accessions also show a 
decline, being 43,039, as compared with 60,642 in 1931-32. 
However, this decline was due not to a relative decline in the 
amount of material received but to the process of cataloguing, 
each book filed in the professional school and departmental 
libraries necessitating duplicate cards to be made for the Cen- 
tral Catalogue of the General Library, thereby determining 
accessions. On the other hand, the number of manuscripts re- 
ceived show a large increase: 52,000 as compared with 15,000 
in 1931-32. In no instance, I am happy to state, has the staff 
been diminished or service curtailed. The distribution of ex- 
penditures and accessions is as follows: 

Expenditures 

General Library $60,605.12 

Woman's College Library 8,648.25 

Hospital Library (Medical).. 6,988.81 
Law Library 11,881.52 





Total Number 


Accessions 


of Volumes 


30,054* 


266,032* 


3,047 


15,156* 


3,484 


26,763 


6,454 


39,351* 



$88,123.70 43,039 347,302 

The General Library 

The acquisitions of the General Library have been derived 
from purchases through current University funds, income from 

* After correction of figures for previous years. 

(3) 



a few small endowments, contributions of friends, and from 
direct gifts and exchanges. The current University funds have 
been just sufficient to meet standing obligations, but largely 
from the other sources we have been able to secure the follow- 
ing classes of material : 

Manuscripts 

As stated in the introductory paragraph, the number of 
manuscripts received has been unusually large — 52,000 as com- 
pared with 15.000 the previous year. The principal collections 
are as follows : 

1. Letters, 20 in number, from the correspondence of Sir 
Henry Lytton Buhver, representative of the Court of St. James 
at Washington from 1849 to 1851. 

2. Letters of William Michael Rossetti. 66 in number, to 
Mrs. Anne Gilchrist. The subject matter varies, including 
many references to the research carried on by both concerning 
William Blake, but the larger number of the letters discussing 
W T alt Whitman, whose cause these two literary persons took up 
with great avidity. When Leaves of Grass appeared, Rossetti 
wrote to Mrs. Gilchrist : "The glorious man. Whitman, will one 
day be known as one of the greatest sons of earth, a few steps 
below Shakespeare on the throne of immortality." The book 
being received with aversion, these two litterateurs concocted a 
plot to reverse the trend of public opinion. Later, during 
Whitman's misfortunes, suggestions were made for offering aid 
in financial form. The expressions of sympathy for him are 
frequent; illustrative is the following sentence: "I agree with 
you that (quoting Mrs. Gilchrist) 'When the world has incor- 
porated Whitman's teaching into its life, the poetry and philos- 
ophy of despair, ennui, etc., will dissolve into unreality' : only I 
would substitute if for when." 

A more remarkable collection of literary letters rarely 
appears. 

(4) 



By far the largest number of manuscripts received pertain 
to the region in which the University is located. By classes 
they are as follows : 

Revolutionary and Eighteenth Century. There have been 
acquired : 

T. Two letters of General Greene, two of Anthony Wayne, 
one of Lachlan Mcintosh, one of John Habersham, and one of 
Andrew Pickens. 

2. Of distinct interest is the acquisition of the correspond- 
ence and business papers of Robert Carter, Councillor of Vir- 
ginia, master of Nomini Hall, a place made famous by the 
diary of the family tutor, Philip Vickers Fithian. The collec- 
tion extends from 1762 to 1793 and consists of 3,135 letters and 
other pieces. 

3. Relating to early [Methodism in North Carolina is the 
Diary of William Ormond, prominent circuit rider of early 
days, the entries covering the period 1791 to 1803. 

4. [Mention must also be made of the letters of John Boyd, 
merchant of Richmond, extending from 1785 to 1794, 40 pieces. 

Commercial and Financial Collections. Under this heading 
over 17,500 letters, papers, and ledgers have been received. 
They are as follows : 

1. From Virginia the correspondence of the Bonsack fam- 
ily of Bedford County, extending from 1786 to the recent past, 
2,000 pieces. 

2. Letters and papers of John Hook of Franklin County, 
Virginia, 1,500 pieces, which were added to the Hook man- 
uscripts previously received. 

3. Letters and papers of the firm of Grasty and Rison of 
Danville, Virginia, extending from 1800 to 1869, 8,000 pieces. 

4. The business correspondence of G. C. Dromgoole of 
Brunswick County, covering the period 1811 to 1891, about 500 
pieces in number. 

5. The business correspondence of J. M. Orr of Loudoun 
County, from 1810 and many years thereafter, 2,500 items. 

(5) 



6. The commercial correspondence of Richard Grist and 
Company of Washington, North Carolina, extending from 1784 
to 1905, 3,000 pieces. 

7. The ledgers and the corporation minute book of the 
Bank of the Cape Fear (North Carolina), 71 volumes, 

8. There have also been received 29 miscellaneous business 
ledgers and 32 volumes of North Carolina cotton mill records, 
the principal run being the Minutes of the Cane Creek Mill, 
1837-1857. 

Agricultural and Plantation Records. 

In addition to the papers of Robert Carter we have added 
six farm diaries of Peter Carr Minor of Virginia, relating to 
farm operations in the early nineteenth century, and 100 pieces 
from the records of the Cottage Grange. South Carolina, cov- 
ering the period 1873 to 1876. 
Collections Primarily Political. 

1. From Georgia we have acquired the letter books and 
other correspondence of Alfred Cumming, sometime Governor 
of the Territory of Utah, the correspondence extending from 
1792 to 1865. 

2. Twenty-five letters of General Edward Harden and some 
of his daughter, Mary Harden, including two letters from John 
Howard Payne, in one of which the poet proposes marriage to 
Miss Harden. 

3. Letters and papers of Governor James McDowell of 
Virginia and members of his family, covering the years 1767 to 
1888, 750 pieces. 

4. Letters from the files of Joseph Jones of Dinwiddie 
County, Virginia, and members of his family, extending from 
1700 to 1875, including A. L. s. of Edmund Randolph, Timothy 
Pickering, Albert Clayton, William H. Crawford, Richard 
Bland Lee, James Madison, and William Duane : 300 items. 

5. Forty-five letters of James Rochelle of Southampton 
County, ranging from 1813 to 1877, have also been received. 

6. From North Carolina come 50 additional letters from the 
correspondence of James Iredell, including autographs of Henry 

( 6 ) 



McCulloch, Luther Martin, John Marshall, Oliver Ellsworth, 
John Tyler, Nathaniel Pendleton, Henry Lee, and Robert Knox. 

7. The correspondence of Honorable F. M. Simmons, of 
North Carolina, long a member of the United States Senate, 
ranging from 1920 to 1929, some 20,000 items, throws light on 
the relations of a Senator with his constituents and the Govern- 
ment, and contains valuable autographs. (Not yet open to the 
public.) 

8. There are also 800 letters and papers of Appleton Oak- 
smith, ranging from 1854 to 1880. Oaksmith was prominent in 
the shipping business and politics of New York City before 
1860, removing to North Carolina after the Civil War. Prior 
to 1860 he was connected with filibustering in Central America, 
with which a part of his correspondence is directly concerned. 

9. Finally, from Kentucky we have received 800 letters 
from the correspondence of John J. Crittenden and his daughter, 
Mrs. Chapman Coleman, rich for A. L. s. of John Marshall, 
James Madison, James Barbour, Andrew Jackson, James Mon- 
roe, Levi Woodbury, William Henry Harrison, Winfield Scott, 
William L. Marcy, Edward Everett, Lewis Cass, Millard Fill- 
more, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, Francis P. Blair, Daniel 
Webster, William H. Seward, James Buchanan, Thomas Hart 
Benton, Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, Franklin 
Pierce, and Jefferson Davis. 

Miscellaneous Collections. In addition there have been re- 
ceived a large number of the papers and correspondence of 
prominent county families in North Carolina, Virginia, and 
South Carolina. These include, from North Carolina : the 
papers of the Slade family of Martin County, of Langdon 
Jeffreys of Wake, William Spruill of Washington, of the Has- 
sell family of Edgecombe, and the Emerson family of Martin 
and Franklin counties. Virginia is represented by the cor- 
respondence of Henry Kagay of Shenandoah County, and 
Luther and Thomas Hammond of Harrison County, now West 
Virginia ; South Carolina by letters of Samuel Rainey and S. A. 
McCarter of York, and Benjamin Hammett; with the latter are 

(7) 



the confessions of two slaves implicated in the Denmark Vesey 
Insurrection, as yet unpublished. 

Confederate. For the period from 1861 to 1865, the ac- 
quisitions are of unusual interest and value. 

1. The military correspondence of Governor Floyd of Vir- 
ginia for 1861 and 1862. 

2. A large number of letters from the files of John Quincy 
Adams Nadenbousch of Virginia, who raised troops at the time 
of the John Brown Raid, held his troops together, and entered 
the service of the Confederacy. 

3. The correspondence of Phineas Messenger Savery, a 
Northern man living in Missouri, who entered the Confederate 
Army and served throughout the War. 

4. Forty more letters of Francis W. Pickens. Governor of 
South Carolina in 1861. 

5. Twenty letters of Francis H. Pierpont, creator of the 
Pierpont Government in Xorth Virginia. 

6. Sixty letters of one Jesse Harrison, a North Carolina 
Union soldier. 

7. There have also been added six letters of Robert E. Lee, 
two of Stonewall Jackson, one of J. E. B. Stuart, one of Jubal 
Early, and one of N. B. Forrest. 

8. James H. Rochelle of Virginia was a naval officer of the 
Confederacy in the defence of Charleston, and we have ac- 
quired 225 pieces of his correspondence. 

9. Vicksburg ordnance papers. 500 in number, preserved by 
Marshall McDonald, relating to the defence of the Mississippi. 

10. The records of the Sanders and Green Iron Foundry 
of Wytheville, Virginia, some 200 pieces, ranging from 1808 
to 1876, cover principally the Confederate period. 

11. Manuscripts from the firm of Rife and Dunlap of 
Augusta County, Virginia, also include the War period. 

12. Letters of Josiah Turner, a prominent politician and 
editor of North Carolina, 25 in number, cover the period of the 
War. 

(8) 



13. The military life of those unknown to fame is also rep- 
resented by 250 letters of private soldiers from North Carolina. 

Newspaper Department 

The number of bound volumes accessioned is 452. Approx- 
imately half of these are contemporary papers and one-half- 
additions to the following files : the Herald, the Tribune, the 
Wall Street Journal, the Times, the World, and the Evening 
Post, all of New York; the Louisville Courier, the Boston 
Evening Transcript, the Minneapolis Journal, the Chicago 
Tribune, the London Times, and the St. James Chronicle (1778, 
1781, 1784, 1786). In addition 20,788 copies of newspapers 
have been received, mainly Southern, representative of the press 
in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and seven other states. 
The more important runs by states are as follows : 

Virginia. Richmond is represented by the Daily Examiner, 
especially the Confederate issues, the Richmond Enquirer, the 
Constitutional Whig, the Daily Dispatch, and the Watchman of 
the South. The Virginia section is notable, however, for the 
large number of papers from smaller centres, and in many cases 
these copies are the only ones known to exist. Staunton is rep- 
resented by the Republican Fanner, the Eagle, the Vindicator, 
and the Valley Virginian — all of the Antebellum period. From 
Abingdon comes the Democrat; from Fairmont the True 
Virginian; from Leesburg the Genius of Liberty; from Danville 
the Democratic Appeal; from Wytheville the Republican and 
Virginia Constitutionalist, and from New Market the Shenan- 
doah Valley. 

South Carolina. From Charleston we have the State Gazette 
of South Carolina for 1788, the Charleston Courier and the 
Mercury for Antebellum and Confederate periods, and the Daily 
Republican for the Reconstruction era. Columbia is represented 
by the Daily Union, the Union Herald, and the Phoenix, all also 
of the period between 1865 and 1876. For Camden we have 

(9) 



secured more copies of the Confederate; for Laurensville the 
Herald of the Antebellum period and also the Kcowee Courier. 

North Carolina. We have acquired a number of papers from 
the western part of the state, notably the Mecklenburg Jeffer- 
sonian, the Miner's and Farmer's Journal, the Charlotte Jour- 
nal, and the North Carolina Whig — all published in Charlotte 
prior to 1860. There have also been added long runs of the 
Fayetteville Observer and Raleigh Register. Especially valuable 
is a practically complete file of the Little Ad, a. newspaper pub- 
lished in Greensboro in 1860, advocating the taxing of slaves 
on a parity with real estate. Finally, for the Reconstruction 
period there is a good run of the Henderson Tribune. 

Georgia. Notable additions have been made to our files of 
the Augusta Chronicle aiui Sentinel and the Constitutionalist. 
From Atlanta we have secured a long run of the Sunny South, 
being a weekly news periodical to which Southerners contrib- 
uted stories and poetry between 1880 and 1900. 

Mississippi. We have been fortunate in securing many 
copies of the State Gazette and the Natchez Gazette of the early 
nineteenth century. 

Tennessee. A considerable run of the Nashville Politician 
has been obtained. 

Kentucky. We have acquired a photostatic reprint of the 
Kentucky Gazette from 1787 to 1789, which was the first news- 
paper published west of the Alleghanies. 

The District of Columbia. Large additions have been made 
to our file of the National Intelligencer and the Daily National 
Journal. 

Maryland. A considerable quantity of the Baltimore Weekly 
American has been secured. 

Books 
Southern Americana. No phase of our activity is more sig- 
nificant than the acquisition of material relating to the region 
in which the University is located, for this region has under- 
gone more rapid economic and social transitions than any sector 

(10) 



of western civilization. It is, therefore, a distinction for any 
university to become a center of Southern records. During the 
past year we have received, in addition to the manuscripts and 
newspapers listed above, over 2,100 books and pamphlets. The 
principal groups are as follows : 

1. Scientific. A number of rare and valuable volumes re- 
lating to the natural resources and scientific thought of the 
South have been acquired. Priority must be given to Mark 
Catesby's Natural History of Carolina and Florida, edition of 
1754, the great pioneer work on American Botany. More rare 
is Catesby's Hortus, the purpose of the volume being to give a 
descriptive list of such American plants and trees as could be 
introduced into England. 

After Catesby, the most important writer upon Southern 
physical conditions was doubtless Dr. Chalmers, whose Climate 
and Diseases of South Carolina (1775) is still a standard work 
on certain diseases. We have also secured Holbrook's North 
American Herpetology and Icthyology of South Carolina. To 
these must be added Elliott's Botany of South Carolina and 
Georgia; Squibb's Gardeners' Calendar ( Charleston, 1787), the 
first garden book of America; Thornton's Southern Gardener 
and Receipt Book; Shecutt's Medical and Philosophical Essays; 
Hodgson's Memoirs of the Megatherium and Other Extinct 
Quadrupeds on the Coast of Georgia; and files of the Publica- 
tions of the Elliott Society of Natural History (Charleston). 

2. Periodicals. To our periodical files have been added a 
number of exceedingly rare issues, viz., the National Magazine 
(Richmond, 1797), the Encyclopedia (York, S. C, 1826), Simms' 
South and Western Magazine, the Baltimore Weekly Magazine ; 
the Virginia Historical Register; and odd copies of the South 
Atlantic Monthly, the Countryman, the Plantation, the Southern 
Planter, and the Millennial Harbinger. 

3. Religion. Under this heading the unique experience is 
the acquisition of a large amount of material relating to the 
Primitive and Free Will Baptist Churches. We have acquired 

(ii) 



1,050 Minutes of the Associations of these denominations, of 
which 345 are the Minutes of Negro Baptist Associations. In 
addition, long runs have been found of Z ion's Landmark, Z ion's 
Advocate, and the Southern Baptist Messenger. 

4. Documentary Material. It is very difficult to complete 
files of the state publications of the various Southern States. 
During the past year we have been fortunate in filling up gaps 
in the House and Senate Journals of South Carolina and Flor- 
ida, and in the Legislative Documents of North Carolina and 
Virginia, and in establishing a considerable file of Mississippi 
documents. 

5. Confederate Imprints. Our large holdings of Confed- 
erate imprints have been considerably increased. There have 
been added forty odd pieces of sheet music and various issues 
of the Soldiers' Tract Society, the Reports of the Confederate 
Bible Society, military manuals, and the famous Instructions 
for Washing Wool. 

6. Other Rare Books and Pamphlets. There have also been 
acquired a considerable number of scarce items, notably. Brack- 
inridge's View of Louisiana, Beverley's History of Virginia 
(1705), DuPratz' History of Louisiana, The Journal of Andrew 
Ellicott, Thickness' Memoirs and Anecdotes, Michaux' Travels, 
Moultrie's Memoirs of the Revolution, Jacob's Patrick Gass, 
and the Cocherthalen, the last an early descriptive book relating 
to South Carolina, published in German in 1709. The pamphlet 
acquisitions are very numerous : among the authors are the fol- 
lowing : R. B. Rhett, John Randolph, William L. Yancey, John 
McCord, David Dalcho, Judge Nisbet, Alexander H. Stephens, 
Robert Hunter, Benjamin M. Palmer, D. H. Hill, Ben Hill, 
Thomas Dew, James Woodrow, James Madison, Thomas 
Cooper, Thomas Grimke, James Hamilton, William Mahone, 
and Lucian Minor. The Southern newspapers and manuscripts 
received are noted above. 

The George Washington Flowers Collection. A few years 
ago, upon the death of Colonel George Washington Flowers, 

( 12 ) 



long a Trustee of Trinity College, the members of his family 
established in the Library a collection in his memory. There 
have been a number of contributors, but during the past three 
years most of the contributions have come from his son, Mr. 
William \\. Flowers of New York City. Included in his gen- 
erous gifts are practically all of the books, newspapers, and 
manuscripts pertaining to the South that have been mentioned 
in our Annual Reports. The quantity of material thus acquired 
is so large and diverse that the George Washington Flowers 
Collection is the most distinctive feature of the General Li- 
brary. The use thereof is not confined to members of the 
University community; each year an increasing number of vis- 
iting scholars consult its treasures. This will necessitate, some- 
time in the future, the publication of a bibliographical analysis. 
Religion. Some noteworthy accessions have been made re- 
lating to patristic literature, the. text of the New Testament, 
and American religious thought. These include : 

1. A Greek lectionary of the Gospels, bound in heavy red 
silk, embroidered in silver needle work and ornamented with 
silver plaques of the Resurrection. The handwriting betrays a 
late date, but lectionaries do make valuable contributions to our 
knowledge of the New Testament. 

2. Facsimiles of the Edith Rockefeller McCormick man- 
uscript and of the Chester Beatty Papyri (as far as published) 
have also been procured. In this connection a note of deep 
appreciation must be given : failing to find in the market the 
facsimile edition of the Codex Vaticanus, Monsignor Mercati, 
Librarian of the Vatican, has generously loaned to the Duke 
Library his personal copy until one can be purchased. Credit 
for this unusual negotiation must be given to Dr. Harvie Brans- 
comb, Professor of the Greek New Testament in Duke. The 
negotiations were oral and quite singularly were not conducted 
in a modern language but in Latin. This friendly interest on 
the part of the librarian of the oldest library in Europe in the 

( 1.3) 



needs of the newest university library in America is appreciated 
beyond words. 

3. The file of the Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticontm Lat- 
inorum was brought to practical completion. This, together 
with the Berlin corpus of the Greek Fathers and other collec- 
tions, makes a good working library of patristic sources. There 
has also been received a set of the Texte und Untersuchungen 
zur Geschichte des Altchristlichen Literatur. 

4. The following editions of the New Testament have also 
been acquired: the second of Erasmus (1519), the folio of 
Stephanus (1550), and the original Textus Rcceptus (Elzevir, 
1624). 

5. Relating to American religious thought and action are a 
file of the Western Christian Advocate since 1830, large addi- 
tions to the Diocesan Records of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, and a complete file of the Andovcr Review. Other 
religious materials relating to the region in which the Univer- 
sity is located are mentioned under Southern Americana and 
Manuscripts. 

Chinese and Far Eastern Collection. A few years ago a 
gentleman engaged in the tobacco business visited Durham and 
drove out to Trinity College. He was not an alumnus nor even 
a college man, but he left with the Library a copy of Hensman's 
Life of Cecil Rhodes. Shortly after he returned to China, but 
within a few years there began to trickle into the Trinity Col- 
lege Library a stream of books relating to China and the Far 
East — a process that still continues. This benefactor is Mr. 
James A. Thomas, now of White Plains, New York, and the 
volumes in the James A. Thomas Collection now approximate 
1,000. During the past year he has begun to add to the col- 
lection those volumes listed by the A. C. L. S. Union List of 
Selected Western Books on China, which have not been gath- 
ered in the past; among the works so added are Cordier, His- 
toire General de la Chine et de Ses Relations avec les Pays 

(14) 



Etr anger depuis le Temps le Plus Ancien jusqu'a la Chute de la 
Dynastie Mandchoue; de Groot, Chine sische Urkunden zur 
Geschichte Asiens and Les Fetes Annuellement Celebrees a 
Emoui; and Wieger, Taoisme. Mr. Thomas has also presented 
Osvald Siren's History of Early Chinese Painting and Hsiang 
Yiian-Pien's Noted Porcelains of Successive Dynasties, Revised 
and Annotated by Kuo Pao-Ch'ang and John C. Ferguson. 

Nothing succeeds like success, and with the growth of the 
Thomas Collection we find that books on China and the Far 
East drift into the Library from other sources. Among those 
so received during the past year are some notable titles relating 
to Chinese Art : The Catalogue of the George Eumorfopoulos 
Collection, being the first three volumes relating to Chinese, 
Korean, [etc.], Pottery and Porcelain, by R. L. Hobson ; Siren, 
The Walls and Gates of Peking; Hayashi, Objets d' 'Art du 
Japon et de la Chine; Hackmack, Chinese Carpets and Rugs;, 
Sarre and Trenkwald, Old Oriental Carpets (2 vols.) ; Ernst,. 
Ceramique Orientale and Broderies Chinoises ; Jones, Examples- 
of Chinese Ornament ; Andrews, Ancient Chinese Figured- 
Silks; and Guerinet, Tapis de la Chine — Soieries et Velowrs: 
Orientaux. 

Because of his continuous interest, Mr. Thomas, like Mr. 
Flowers, is an ideal benefactor. Given a dozen such persons, 
any institution will rapidly expand its collections. It is also 
remarkable for the Library to have such a large collection on a 
subject which is only indirectly concerned with any department 
of instruction in the University. 

European Academies. In our last report note was made of 
the acquisition, to be extended over a period of years, of the 
publications of certain European academies. In the past twelve 
months we have rounded out the following: Accademia Ponti- 
ficia dei Nitovi Lincei (95 vols.) ; Accademia dei Lincei (236 

(15) 



vols.); Akademie der Wissenschaften (Wien, 91 vols.). We 
have also added these new sets: Academia dc la Historia Bol- 
elin, de Madrid (100 vols.); Institiit de France (126 vols.); 
K. Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin, 119 
vols.). 

The acquisition of this invaluable material has been made 
possible through the interest of certain professors who have 
pledged their departmental funds toward the purchase thereof, 
an excellent example of the real meaning of that misused word 
cooperation. There is no surer promise of future growth in 
scholarly material than such effort on the part of teachers and 
scholars. Its power is like unto the faith which removeth 
mountains. 

Early European Collections. We have been fortunate in 
acquiring a number of rare sets relating to medieval and early 
modern history. These are : 

Acta Sanctorum (69 vols., complete to date) ; Xordenskiold, 
Facsimile Atlas of the Early History of Cartography with Re- 
productions of the Most Important Maps Printed in the Fif- 
teenth and Sixteenth Centuries; also Nordenskiold's Pcriplus. 
An Essay on the Early History of Charts and Sailing Direc- 
tions; Collection de Chroniqucs Beiges Inedites (140 vols.); 
Comptc-rcndus (Bulletin) des Seances de la Commission Royale 
de VHistoirc de Bclgique (89 vols.) ; Portugaliae Monument a 
Historica a Sacculo J^III post Christum usque ad XV Jussu 
Academiae Scientiarum Olisiponensis Edita (6 vols., all pub- 
lished to date; ; Katona, Historia Critica Rcgum Huugariae 
(43 vols.). 

These sets correlate well with those previously acquired — 
the Monumenta Historia Gcrmaniae, Migne's Patrologia, the 
Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain, and certain minor 
collections — toward the making of a well-rounded library of 
medieval source material. 

American State Documents. In our last report we indi- 

(16) 



cated that we had embarked on an effort to acquire the doc- 
umentary publications of the American states. Our inventory- 
shows that during the past year we have added 15,500 pieces, 
representing publications of every one of these United States. 
In this connection I wish to state that the task of assembling a 
comprehensive collection of American state documents is too 
great a challenge to the resources of any single library; it is a 
matter that demands joint effort on the part of various institu- 
tions, particularly those of a single state or a group of states. 
So far there is no such collection in the Southeast, but it is 
seriously needed. On the whole matter I wish to commend the 
article of Dr. Kuhlman, Associate Director of the University 
of Chicago Library and Chairman of the A. L. A. Public Doc- 
uments Committee.* The category of material there included 
as Social Science is so broad in its scope that nothing less than 
joint efforts can bring about its assemblage and preservation. 
Modern European and Latin American Documents. Our 
acquisitions of public documentary material have not been con- 
fined to the American states. To our considerable holdings of 
Latin American documents we have added the following: 

Sesiones del Congreso National de la Republica de Chile (260 
vols.) ; Coleccion de los Decretos y Ordenes Que Ha Expedido 
la Legislatura del Estado desde 1824 hasta 1928 (de Costa 
Rica, 68 vols.) ; Initio de Limites entre el Peru y Bolivia (35 
vols, in 33) ; Memorias, Anales, and other publications of the 
Peruvian Ministry of Finance (265 vols.) ; Diario Official (do 
Brasil, 113 vols.). 

We have also secured the following sets or runs of Euro- 
pean material : 

From France, Lois et Actes du Gouvemment (later) Bid- 
letin des Lois de la Republique Francais, 1789 to date (about 
530 vols.); Archives Parlement aires (206 vols.); Journal Of- 

* "Preserving Social Science Materials" (Bulletin of the A. L. A., March 
1933). 

(17) 



ficiel (688 vols.) ; Rccucil General Annote des Lois, Decrets, 

Ordonnances (de la Republique Francaise), 1789-1919 (100 

vols.) ; also the Orange Books of the Netherlands, 1909-1921 
(31 vols.) ; and the Laws of Estlwnia, complete through 1929. 

The European documentary material presents much the 
same problem as that of the American states. To assemble all 
of it is a task that also challenges the resources and capacity of 
not one library but groups of libraries, and there should be 
joint efforts to this worthy end by institutions in each state or 
group of states. As in the case of American documents, there 
is no cosmopolitan collection of such material in the Southeast, 
yet there is constant demand for its usage. 

Forestry. We have been fortunate in adding to our forestry 
collections the library of the late Professor James W. Tourney, 
formerly of Yale University, consisting of 5,126 bound vol- 
umes and pamphlets, invaluable for its files of government re- 
ports and other forestry publications now out of print. For 
this gift we are indebted to Mrs. Tourney and to the inter- 
mediary services of Dean Graves of the Yale School of Forestry. 

Because of the personal interest of Dr. C. F. Korstian, Pro- 
fessor of Forestry, the literature on his subject has grown 
rapidly in the past two years, approximately 12,000 items being 
.-assembled: and we find, with a deep sense of gratitude, that a 
majority of this material has come through gifts of those inter- 
ested in seeing a Forestry School and a Forestry Library estab- 
lished in the University. 

A New Venture, Under this heading in our last Annual 
Report attention was called to our effort to collect documentary 
material of the American states. The past year we have under- 
taken another venture — to collect American transportation re- 
ports, particularly those concerning railroads. The result has 
been the acquisition of 6,436 railway corporation reports, repre- 
senting practically all of the major trunk lines of the United 

(18) 



States, dating mainly since 1900, though many go back as far 
as the middle of the nineteenth century. This forms a nucleus 
.around which we hope to assemble other reports not only of 
railways in this country but also of those abroad. We believe 
it is very pertinent not only from the view of American trans- 
portation problems but also from the fact that there is no large 
transportation library in the Southeastern States. 

Periodicals and Serials. There have been some additions to 
current subscriptions, 56 in number ; eight have been dropped 
through suspension of publication or amalgamation, leaving a 
net increase of 48, and our total subscription list stands at 
2,248. On the other hand we have been fortunate in estab- 
lishing 40 new files as herewith listed, the sets being complete 
"unless otherwise indicated by volume numbers. 

Bibliophile Beige (later) Bulletin de Bibliophile Beige; 
Bibliotheca Belgica. Bibliographic General des Pays-Bas; 
Boletin Historial. Organo de la Academia de la Historia de 
Cartagena de Indias; Revista do Institnto Archeologieo e 
Geographieo Pernambucano; Revista do Institnto Geographico 
e Historico da Bahia; Revista Argentina de Ciencias Politicas; 
Revista de Derecho, Historia y Letres de Buenos Aires; Revista 
de Legislacdo e de J urisprudencia (de Coimbra) ; Revista de 
Ciencias Economicas (de Buenos Aires) ; Allgemeine Deutsche 
Bibliothek (und) Neue Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek ; Amer- 
ican Forestry Association (25 vols.) ; American Architects and 
Architectural Review (50 vols.) ; Electric Railway Journal (30 
vols.) ; Engineering and Illustrated Weekly (45 vols.) ; Gas 
Journal (50 vols.) ; Index to Patents, 1872 through 1911 ; Print- 
ers Ink (75 vols.) ; Scientific American ; Scientific American 
Supplement; Textile World (23 vols.) ; Boston Journal of 
Chemistry (28 vols.) ; Cassiers Magazine (24 vols.) ; Rassegna 
Italiana (10 vols.) ; Almanach de Lembrancas Luso-brasileiro 
[and] Novo Almanach de Lembrancas Luso-brasileiro (52 
vols.) ; Almanach des Muses (56 vols.) ; Academia das Scien- 
cias de Lisbon (20 vols.) ; Archives Neerlandaises des Sciences 

(19) 



Exactes et Naturelles (30 vols.) ; Australian [Sydney] Museum 
Records (12 vols.); La Belgique Horticolc (20 vols.); Bib- 
liotheca de Classicos Portugueses (45 vols.) ; Bulletino di Bib- 
liografia e di Storia delle Scienze, Mathetnatiche e Fisichc (12 
vols.) ; Indian Museum [Calcutta] Memoirs; Indian Museum 
[Calcutta] Records; Le Livre, Revue du Monde Litteraire (10 
years); Le Naturalist e Canadien (15 vols.); Instituto (14 
vols.); Instituto, lornal Scientifico e Litterario (14 vols.); 
Instituto, Revista Scientifica e Litteraria (36 vols.) ; Poly- 
biblion. Revue Bibliographiquc UniverseUe (51 vols.) ; Sociedad 
Cientifica Antonio Alzate (45 vols). 

Reference. The question of reference works is perennial. 
The collections are never complete, for old paths of learning- 
are constantly retraced and new vistas opened up, resulting in 
new bibliographies, guide books, catalogues, and cyclopedias. 
Consequently there is ever something missing in all reference 
rooms, however comprehensive they seem to be. In devious 
ways we have been able to add to this class of works the fol- 
lowing : 

Wurzbach, C. von, Biographischcs Lex ikon des Kaiserthums 
Oesterreich; Pract, J. B. B. van, Catalogue des Livres Imprimis 
sur Velin de la Bibliotheque du Roi [avcc] Catalogue des Livres 
Imprimes Qui Sc Trouvent dans les Bibliotheques Taut Pub- 
liques que Particulieres ; Stammhammer, J., Bibliographic des 
Socialismus und Communismus; Roorbach, O. A., Bibliotheca 
Americana 1820-1852; Carteret, L., Le Tresor du Bibliophile 
Romantique et Modeme 1801-1875; Holzmann, M. und Bohatta, 
H., Deutsches Anonymenlexikon 1501-1926; Retana. W. E., 
Aparato Bibliogrdfico de la Historia General de Filipinos De- 
ducido de la Coleccion Que Posee en Barcelona la Compania de 
Tabacos; Santiago Vela, G., Ensayo de una Biblioteca Ibero- 
Americana de la Orden de San Augustin ; Atlas Linguistique de 
la France; and Der Grosse Brockhaus (15th edition). 

( 20 ) 



The expansion of works of reference ultimately raises the 
question of space. However large a Reference Room, its 
shelves become full, leading to overflow into other rooms. At 
least, so it is with the General Library ; our shelving has reached 
the saturation point, and the surplus of books must be placed 
in the general stacks. 




The Holmes Gin 
The libraries are frequently called on to take the custody of 
other than literary materials, being the repositories of paintings 

(21) 



and prints, rare furniture, and relics. Last year we reported 
the reception of the Henkel Printing Press, the first German 
press south of the Potomac. This year there has been deposited 
a very early cotton gin, operated by hand, in size 18^ x 16 x 
19^2 inches. Apparently it is the first saw gin patented, the 
patentee being Hodgson Holmes of Augusta, the Whitney Gin 
of 1793 having wire teeth rather than saws. For the presenta- 
tion of this relic of early agricultural development in the South 
we are indebted to Robert Walston. 

Gifts and Exchanges 

No University Library can reach full growth through ac- 
quisitions by University funds alone. This is well demonstrated 
by our experience the past year. We have received from ben- 
efactors and by exchange 127,545 items — books, pamphlets, 
newspapers, and manuscripts ; and the monetary contributions 
reached $20,600. 

The list of donors and their good works is too extensive to 
enumerate in detail. Especial recognition must be given the 
following : 

Mr. W. W. Flowers of New York, for large additions to 
the George W. Flowers Collection ; Mr. James A. Thomas of 
White Plains, New York, for numerous books on China and 
the Far East ; Mr. P. Huber Hanes of Washington for aid in 
acquiring materials relating to French civilization ; Mr. A. C. 
Howell, also of New York, for a subscription to The Colophon; 
Mrs. Henry Walters of New York and Mrs. George B. Elliott 
of Wilmington, North Carolina, for the contribution of several 
hundred federal documents from the library of the late Whar- 
ton J. Green, sometime Congressman from North Carolina; 
Honorable F. M. Simmons for the presentation of his political 
correspondence since 1920 ; Mrs. W. J. H. Cotton for the eco- 

(22) 



nomics library of her husband, late Professor of Economics in 
Duke University; the late Reverend Harry M. North, class of 
1899, long a trustee of the institution, who died some months 
ago, for his library, acquired through his will ; the Baker Li- 
brary of Harvard University for many volumes, including 
newspapers and railroad reports; Benjamin Muse, of Monte- 
video, for a file of La Revue de I'Amerique Latine ; Sir Josiah 
Stamp for a set of his treatises on Economics and Politics (15 
vols.) ; the Government of Italy for the Collected Works of 
Italian Statesmen of the Risorgimento Period and certain pub- 
lic documents; Miss Sybil Hyatt of Kinston, North Carolina, 
for periodicals; Mr. A. H. Sands of New York, for files of 
finance reports of various tobacco corporations ; and Mrs. 
James W. Tourney of New Haven, for a forestry collection. 
Other donors are the following : 

Anderson, Andrew R. ; Anderson, John, Jr. ; Anderson, Rob- 
ert Van V.; Ashe, S. A.; Atkinson, William; Audigier, Louis 
Bailey. 

Baeck, Ludwig; Baker, Hugh P.; Ballard, Claude M. ; 
Barnes, Viola Florence ; Baum, Paull F. ; Bell, Robert K. ; Bird, 
H. C. ; Bowers, Claude G. ; Boyd, William K. ; Brannon, Peter 
A. ; Byers, R. P. 

Carroll, Eber Malcolm ; Cheydleur, Frederic D. ; Cho, Eung 
Tyun; Clark, T. D. ; Cole, Robert D. ; Coulter, E. M.; Crane, 
E. J. ; Crompton, George. 

Davila, Vicente; Dillin, John G. W. ; Doumette, Hanna 
Jacob; Duffie, George S. 

Egan, Eula Pearl ; Ellwood, Charles A. 

Few, William Preston ; Flowers,- R. L. ; Fowler, W. W. 

Gaines, Francis Pendleton; Galer, R. S. ; Gamble, Thomas; 
Garber, Paul N. ; Gartelmann, William ; Gibson, O. M. ; Glas- 
gow, Ellen ; Glasson, W. H. ; Goddard, Dwight ; Godoy, Ar- 

(23) 



mand; Gohdes, Clarence; Goldsborough, Hon. T. Alan; Gregg, 
R. B. ; Guthrie, K. S. L. 

Hargett, B. F. ; Harrison, Evelyn; Henkel, Celeste; Hobbs, 
Wm. H. ; Hoff, John Jacob: Holeman. E. L. ; Holmes. John 
Haynes ; Holton, Holland; Hoover, Calvin B. ; Howard, L. O. ; 
Howson; Hubbell, Jay B. : Hudspeth, Willis. 

Jacobs, M. R. 

Kassel, Charles ; Katsura, Saburo ; Korstian, C. F. 

Laprade, W. T. ; Lazarovich-Hrebeljanovich, Mara de C. : 
Lee, Lawrence W. ; Leete, Bishop F. D. ; Leite, J. : Leiter. Mrs. 
Levi Ziegler ; Lewis, Mrs. C. L. 

Macedo, M. S., Jr.; Mattoon, W. R. : Maughan, William; 
Maxwell, William Cary ; McCarty, R. J. ; McConnell, John 
Preston; McDougall, William; Mcllwaine, H. R. ; Meeker, J. 
Edward; Michaels, Matilda; Milburn, R. Gordon: Mitchell, 
S. C. ; Morrell, E. ; Myers. Mildred L. 

Newfang, Oscar; Newsome. A. R. 

Ormond, Professor J. M. 

Page, Mrs. E. C. ; Pennington, Edgar L. : Perkins, George 
Gilpin; Pfeifer, William H. ; Pratt, Dr. Joseph Hyde; Pratt, 
Mrs. Joseph Hyde. 

Raynal, Charles E. ; Rhine. J. B. ; Richards, Rev. L. B. ; 
Rippy- J- Fred ; Robert, J. C. : Rogers, Henry Munroe ; Roos, 
Anna Maria ; Rowe, Dr. L. S. 

Schwarz, Herbert F. ; Sinclair, Upton: Smith, H. B. : Spar- 
hawk, W. N. ; Sprague, Mrs. Frank J. ; Sprague, Frank J. ; 
Stamp, Sir Josiah ; Stockbridge, Helen E. ; Stokes, Ruth W T yck- 
liffe; Stowe, A. Monroe; Stroven, Carl G. ; Sykes. Howard C. 

Thomas, Joseph M. ; Thompson, Allison J. ; Thompson, 
Slason ; Troy, Nina Webb. 

Vanderlip, Frank A.- 

Wade, Louis M. ; Weems, Rev. C. N. ; White, Newman I. ; 
Whitney, Richard; Wimsatt, Genevieve: Woods. Arthur; 
Wright^ Col. J. W. 

(24) 



Unfortunately the above list is not complete and recognition of 
other donors of the year will be given in our next Annual 
Report. 

Our exchange relations have been gratifying and suggest 
the text, "Bricks without straw." During these days of de- 
pression, many libraries are listing their duplicates and exchang- 
ing with other institutions to the advantage of all. Nothing 
could be more profitable. In our case, we have received by 
exchange approximately 38,000 volumes. Exchanges are par- 
ticularly satisfactory when they are intersectional in character, 
as bringing to Duke from the North and West material that 
can scarcely be found in the Southern States, and sending to 
those regions duplicate Southern items or other items which 
certain libraries do not possess. The possibilities of expansion 
through exchanges are apparently without limit, and the move- 
ment deserves consideration and encouragement by all. 

The Law Library 

The growth of the Law Library naturally has not been as 
rapid as in the previous two years. However, it has not fallen 
into arrears. The accessions, numbering 6,454, include 1,575 
volumes of texts and treatises, 480 statutes, and 1,113 volumes 
of periodicals. There have also been received 1,764 pamphlets 
and unbound pieces. 

Distinctive progress has been made in establishing the legal 
biographical collection, the count now showing 350 volumes of 
individual biographies and over fifty sets of collected biogra- 
phies ; also several hundred pamphlet items of a biographical 
nature as well as over 1,000 letters, manuscripts, and clippings 
relating to leading lawyers and jurists. To the collection the 
following friends have made contributions : M. W. Acheson, 
Jr., John Stokes Adams, Ellen Graham Anderson, Henry W. 

(25) 



Anderson, Frank H. Andrews, Samuel A. Ashe, Joseph S. 
Auerbach, Warren R. Austin, George P. Bagby, Benton Baker, 
Paul Bakewell, Gilbert Bettman, Francis Biddle, William M. 
Blatt, Carroll T. Bond, Percy Bordwell, Mrs. Gamaliel Brad- 
ford, Harrison A. Bronson, Armstead Brown, Francis E. 
Brown, Joseph H. Cinamon, Albert Crew, Walter Davenport, 
Harry M. Daugherty, Morris L. Ernst, J. Fred Essary, G. 
Washington Fox, Jerome Frank, David Lloyd George. Morris 
Gisnet, Thomas P. Hardman, Byron Haworth, William Searle 
Holdsworth, Samuel D. Jackson, Monroe Johnson, William C. 
Lassiter, Charles P. Light, Charles E. McCartney, B. D. Mc- 
Cubbins, Oklahoma Press, Frank X. Parsons, George W. 
Pepper, George G. Perkins, John A. Pitts, Dora Neill Ray- 
mond, James A. Reed, William H. Robinson, Charles Scrib- 
ner's Sons, Henry W. Taft, Miss Ida M. Tarbell, Charles J. 
Tobin, Mrs. Albert H. Vestal, Wells Wells (pseud.), and John 
H. Wigmore. 

Particular mention must be made of the presentation by Mr. 
John Stokes Adams of Philadelphia of the law library of Dan- 
iel Mooreau Barringer, prominent North Carolinian of Ante- 
bellum days. It consists of some 150 volumes illustrative of 
the equipment of an old-time barrister. Each volume contains 
Mr. Barringer's signature, and many the signatures of previous 
owners. 

Honorable W. B. Rodman has also presented a worthy list 
of books from his library, and Miss Jane Elizabeth Xewton 
has given four volumes of Reports of the Commissioner of 
Patents of the Confederate States of America. 

Other gifts were received from the Bar Association of the 
City of New York, Josiah Bailey, Daniel Beecher, Dennis G. 
Brummitt, Henry Burke, Carnegie Endowment for Interna- 
tional Peace, Cincinnati Law Library, Columbia University 

(26) 



Legislative Drafting Research Fund, Dartmouth College Li- 
brary, Robert L. Flowers, Alexander H. Frey, John Gabbert, 
Edwin Gholson, Harvard University Law Library, Illinois 
State Law Library, Iowa State Law Library, Malcolm Mc- 
Dermott, William S. McDowell, Douglas B. Maggs, Massa- 
chusetts State Library, Michigan State Library, Justin Miller, 
Waldo G. Morse, Lee S. Overman, William R. Perkins, Phil- 
adelphia Bar Association, Frederick W. Rauchhaupt, Lloyd M. 
Robbins, William H. Sawyer, Howard E. Wahrenbrock, and 
Yale University Law Library. 

Woman's College Library 

The process of establishing a reference library primarily for 
undergraduates goes on. During the past year the accessions 
have been 3,047, bringing the total number of volumes to 15,156. 
The subscription list shows a net gain of 18, making the total 
number of periodicals and serials received 251. The use of the 
Library increases, the circulation figures for the year being 
47,192, as compared with 38,790 in 1931-32. 

Among the accessions of the year, mention must be made 
of a large number of volumes (232) in the realm of art, as- 
quired through the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation, and 
also over 2,000 mounted prints. This material, together with 
acquisitions through purchase, go far toward making a well- 
rounded art collection. The fields covered are Far Eastern 
and Ancient Art and that of Modern Europe (English, Italian, 
French, Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, and German), including such 
specialties as ceramics, textiles, ornament, landscape design, and 
crafts. A better concept of the whole may be conveyed by 
mention of the following authors and titles : Berenson, Italian 
Painters of the Renaissance; Binyon, Flight of the Dragon; 
Boehn, Die Mode; Bossert, Ornament in Applied Art; Bryan, 

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Dictionary of Painters, Engravers [etc.]; Cheney, Stage Dec- 
oration; Clouzat, Histoire de la Manufacture de Jouy et de la 
Toile Imprimee an 18th Siecle; Coomaraswamy, History of 
Indian Art; Faure, History of Art; Fleming, Encyclopaedia of 
Textiles; Fiirst, Modern Woodcut; Gauguin, Noa Xoa; Geu- 
nell, Etchers and Etching; Gobineau, Renaissance ; Guerinet, 
Indiennes; Perses, Toiles de Jouy et de Genes; Hanover, His- 
tory of Ceramics; Kimball, History of Architecture (and other 
works); Mareschal, La Faience Populaire an XVIII Siecle; 
Maspero, Egypt; Meier-Graefe, Spanish Journey; Platz, Bau- 
knnst der Neuesten Zeit; Pollard, Early Illustrated Books; 
Tilke, Oriental Costumes; von Lessing, Die Gewebe-Sammlung 
des K. Knnstgezuerbc-muscujns; and Weitenkampf, American 
Graphic Art. 

In the Gallery of the Library the following art exhibitions 
have been held : 

1. Oil Paintings and Water Colors — -Lindsey Gudger. 

2. Engravings on Wood — Timothy Cole. (Barber Col- 
lection) with illustrated lecture by Louise Hall. 

3. Far Eastern Art — Barber Collections and Individuals in 
the University Community and Durham. 

4. Oil Paintings — Irene Price. 

5. How to Make an Etching — John Taylor Arms. 

6. Etchings — Alfred Hutty. 

7. North Carolina Handicrafts — Sponsored by Art Asso- 
ciation and Community Club. 

8. Lithographs — Mabel Dwight. 

9. Oriental Indian Paintings — Alban G. Widgery. 

Ad interim the w T alls of the Gallery are used for illustrative 
material relative to the courses in the Fine Arts. Mrs. Mar- 
garet L. Barber has manifested her continuous interest by the 

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presentation of an early portrait from Charleston and several 
pieces of antique furniture. 

A problem of congestion is arising. Two of the rooms 
originally designed for reference and reading have been con- 
verted into galleries, but with the increased enrollment in the 
Woman's College, the remaining space for reading and refer- 
ence is hardly sufficient to meet the demands of students. 

The Hospital (Medical) Library 

The growth of this library has been moderate, its accessions 
numbering 3,484. Its file of journals and serials is compre- 
hensive, 412 in number. Complete or almost complete sets of 
the following have been added : British Journal of Dermatology ; 
Wiener Archiv fur Innere Medizin; Annates de Dermatologie; 
Beitrage zur Pathologischen Anatomie. Supplement; Kind- 
erdrztliche Praxis; Jahresbericht Tuberkuloseforschung; Zeit- 
schrift fiir die Gesamte Experimentelle Medizin; and the 
Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps. 

The Library is indebted to Dr. R. M. Calder and Dr. W. C. 
Davison for important gifts, among which are the following: 
Leclerc, Biographic Medicate (1855) ; Cadogan, Essay upon 
Nursing and the Management of Children from Birth to Three 
Years Old (1769) ; Osier, Evolution of Modern Medicine 
(1921) ; Hippocrates, Aphrosimi (1699) ; Cockburn, An Exact 
Inquiry into, and Cure of, the Acute Diseases of Infants. 

Note should be made that the cataloguing of 8,000 volumes 
received two years ago from the Georgia Medical Society has 
been completed. 

General Remarks 

Faculty Interest. The limited income for expenditure of 
books has received most helpful consideration by certain mem- 

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bers of the faculty who have advanced small sums, to be re- 
funded when and if times so permit, for the purchase of books 
urgently needed. In some cases, also, instructors have made 
large purchases on their own account and made accessible to 
students the books so acquired. An opinion that the Library 
must not suffer too much, with such a demonstration of inter- 
est, is the surest guarantee that our present plight is but 
temporary. 

Circulation. Rapid as has been the acquisition of materials 
during recent years, the use of books has constantly increased. 
During the past year the circulation of the General Library has 
been 243,564 volumes, as compared with 213,314 in 1931-32 
and 186,777 in 1930-31. The circulation figure for all libraries 
excepting the Hospital (Medical), which keeps no circulation 
statistics, was 304,456, as compared with 252,104 in 1931-32. 
Apparently the more books made available, the greater the use 
thereof. 

Publications. During the past year two issues of the Check 
List of United States Newspapers and JJ^ceklies to 1900 have 
been issued, Part II, Idaho-Massachusetts, and Part III, Mich- 
igan-New York. It is contemplated to publish the present year 
Part IV, which will list our North Carolina papers. 

Attention was called in the previous report to the consider- 
able number of works relating to Brazil in the General Library. 
These have been listed by Dr. A. K. Manchester of the Depart- 
ment of History, and the list is in process of publication by the 
Hispanic American Historical Review* It notes 28 titles (51 
vols.) of bibliographical guides to historical materials, 133 titles 
(365 vols.) of books published prior to 1822, and 298 titles 
(1,258 vols.) since that date, thus making a total of 459 titles 
(1,674 vols.). The collection is wide in scope, including gen- 

* "A Descriptive Bibliography of the Brazilian Section of the Duke University 
Library" {Hispanic American Historical Review, March-November, 1933). 

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eral histories and historical monographs, and documentary and 
serial publications. There are in the Library, not listed by Dr. 
Manchester, approximately 100 volumes of Brazilian literature, 
old and modern — plays, poetry, novels, and essays. It should 
be added that since his manuscript went to press, several hun- 
dred additional Brazilian volumes have been received. 

William K. Boyd, 
Director of Libraries. 
Librarians : 
Joseph P. Breedlove, 

General Library. 
Lillian B. Griggs, 

Woman's College Library. 
William R. Roalfe, 

Law Library. 
Judith Farrar, 

Hospital Library. 



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APPENDIX 
LIBRARY STATISTICS 
july 1, 1932-june 30, 1933 

A. Totals 

The Books: 

Volumes accessioned (1932-33) 43,039 

Total number of volumes accessioned 347,302 

Total volumes catalogued (1932-33) 52,332 

Titles in foreign languages catalogued ( 1932-33 ) 14,121 

Catalogue Cards made and filed (1932-33) 161,202 

Expenditures: 

Books, periodicals, and binding $ 88,123.70 

Salaries 95,470.93 

Supplies, office expense, communication, express, freight, 

traveling expenses, and furniture 10.294.07 

Total expenditures $193,888.70 

The Staff: 

Staff members (full time) 53 

Staff members (part time ) 59 

— 112 

B. By Libraries 

GENERAL LIBRARY 

Librarian 1 

Secretary 1 

Cataloguing Department ( full time) 15 ■ 

Cataloguing Department (part time) 7 22 

Circulation Department (full time) 9 

Circulation Department (part time) 29 38 

Manuscript Department (full time) / 2 

Newspaper Department (full time) 1 

Newspaper Department (part time) 1 2 

Order Department (full time) 7 

Order Department (part time) 1 8 

Periodical Department (full time) 2 

Periodical Department (part time) 1 3 77 

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HOSPITAL LIBRARY 

Librarian 1 

Secretary ( full time) 1 

Circulation (part time) 1 2 3 

LAW LIBRARY 

Librarian 1 

Secretary* ( full time) 1 

Secretary (part time) 1 2 

Cataloguing - Department (full time) 2 

Cataloguing Department (part time) 2 4 

Reference and Circulation (full time) 1 

Reference and Circulation (part time) 6 7 

Special work (part time) 1 1 15 

WOMAN'S COLLEGE LIBRARY 
Librarian 1 

Cataloguing Department ( full time) 3 

Cataloguing Department (part time) 2 5 

Circulation Department (full time) 2 

Circulation Department (part time) 2 4 

Order Department (full time) 1 

Periodical and Reference Department (full time) .. 1 

Periodical and Reference Department (part time).. 5 6 17 



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A 



Duke University Libraries 



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